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Book >T?) fe3 







National and State Sovereignty 9 1 

The Shadow of a Dead Confederacy 35 ^ 



A Fair Vote of Equal Power 52 ^ 

Military Interference at Elections in the South . 65 ] 



An Irredeemable Paper Currency 88 : 

The Influence of Congress on Silver Currency . . 109 ; 


Chinese Immigration . . . , 116 i 



Shall We Build our Ships at Home? 155 1 



The Tariff Question 170 ^ 


viii Contents. ] 


Civil-Service Reform .197 i 

A Peace Congress 199 ' 

Foreign Policy of the Garfield Administration . 201 \ 



The Plati'oiim 250 \ 

The Nomination of Mr. Blaine to the Presidency . 2oG ; 

A List of the Delegates 2G3 



" 'i 





If the American people are not misjudged, they are, most 
of all, interested in the public career of the man who receives 
the nomination for the highest office within their gift. They 
may be interested to know what time he arises in the morn- 
ing, how long and in what way he works, how he dresses, and 
many other details of his private life ; but they are more 
interested to know whether he has been patriotic in great 
emergencies, strong when courage was needed, full of 
resources at times when the interests of the people were at 
stake, and alert for the welfare of the nation. 

It is necessary, however, in this instance, to refer to the 
antecedents of the man that we may form a just estimate of 
his power. Without pressing the claim that heredity has 
much to do with a man's success, we are still confronted 
with the fact that Charles Darwin came from a race of 
naturalists; that behind the military career of Count Von 
Moltke — a most remarkable history — there are three gen- 
erations of soldiers; and in examining the history of the 
Blaine family we find evidences of statesmanship reaching 
back to the days of Washington and the American Rev- 

2 Words of James Gr, Blaine. 

Colonel Ephraim Blaine was an early settler in Middlesex, 
Pennsylvania, and there had large possessions of land in 
colonial days. He was not only a man of wealth, but a 
patriot as well, and espousing the cause of the people in the 
Revolution, was- appointed to command a regiment of the 
Pennsylvania line. Beyond his patriotism he was a broad 
and successful business man, and was soon transferred to 
the department of supplies, brought order out of chaos, and 
by his personal credit was able to advance money at certain 
times for the use of the government. Many a soldier who 
suffered at Valley Forge, or marched with the " barefooted 
host " from Philadelphia to Trenton, when their footprints 
left marks of blood upon the snow, had ample reason to 
remember the relief afforded by the generosity of Colonel 
Ephraim Blaine. Among the most cherished mementoes of 
family history are the letters of Washington expressing 
thanks for this kindness, and it is still remembered that 
when the whiskey insurrection broke out in 1793, General 
Washington, with his secretaries, Hamilton and Knox, 
stopped a few days with Colonel Blaine in Middlesex, when 
the old-fashioned hospitality displayed on the part of the 
host made the event one to be spoken of with pride by the 
citizens of that section for many years. 

The characteristics of Colonel Blaine reappeared in mem- 
bers of the family, and Mr. James G. Blaine has an inheri- 
tance, in this respect, of which any man might be proud. If 
the Gillespies were less noted, they were still remarkable 
people, intelligent and refined, and when we look back on 
the family history we must see that Mr. Blaine has the 
advantage of a good ancestry. 

Hid Public Ca7'eer. 3 

Again, Mr. Blaine was fitted for his public career by early 
and careful training. This is not said to disparage self-made 
men. The wisdom of Franklin, the foresight, patriotism, and 
great ability of Lincoln, and the eminent service of Henry 
Wilson, as well as the long line of men of lesser note, but of 
high ^lent, prove that some of our most worthy and effi- 
cient men have been self-made. Still, every one of these men 
believed that education was the privilege above all others 
that a man should prize, and every one lamented the envi- 
ronment which prevented him from obtaining a liberal train- 
ing in early years. Mr. Blaine was carefully educated in 
early years, and was graduated from Washington College at 
the age of seventeen. 

He was a close student of history, especially of American 
history, and the history of American politics. He studied 
law, and thus gained important knowledge of the province 
and duty of a legislator. He taught in a large military 
school in Kentucky for two or more years, and gained the 
knowledge of human nature, which can scarcely be obtained 
so well in any other position. 

At the age of twenty-three he came to the State of Maine, 
first taking charge of the Kennebec Journal, and then of the 
Portland Advertiser ; and spending several years in the 
editorial chair, he so perfected himself in the art of expres- 
sion, that the wholesome influence of these years may be 
seen in almost every page of his " Twenty Years of Con- 
gress. " 

When we look at his personal history we shall no longer 
say that Mr. Blaine has gained his popularity by "brill- 

4 Words of James Gr. Blaine. 

iancy, " or " dash, " or " personal magnetism, " whatever the 
last expression may mean. He has been popular because 
nature endowed him with a clear mind, executive force, 
quick perception, and much firmness ; because hard study 
made him master of our past political history, and a capable 
judge of the present needs ; because his arduous labor as a 
journalist resulted in giving him a literary culture, and 

3reatly strengthened his logical powers. 
■At the age of twenty-six, Mr. Blaine really entered on his 
public career. The time was important. The agitation of 
the slave question was at its height, and the birth of the 
Republican party was at hand. At the convention held in 
Philadelphia, Colonel John C. Fremont was nominated for 
President, and those who were his supporters entered upon 
their work with much zeal. Mr. Blaine was a delegate to 
the convention, and on his return to Augusta a ratification 
meeting was called. Pressed to speak, he at first refused, 
but afterward consented. Standing before the large audi- 
ence he made a poor beginning, but soon entered into the 
spirit of the hour, and so clear, forcible, and convincing was 
his speech that from that hour he was considered not only an 
able writer, but one of tlie most effective platform speakers 
in the party. Throughout the campaign he spoke in many 
places, and his reputation soon extended beyond his section. 
In 1858, he was elected to the Legislature from Augusta, and 
at once attracted attention by his industry and sound judg- 
ment. He was re-elected four successive years, and was 
chosen Speaker of the House for 1861 and 1862. During his 
term as speaker he gave evidence of the powers which were 

His Public Career. 5 

soon to be displayed in a larger field, and so well was liis 
work done, that in the autumn of 1862 he Avas elected to 
Congress. The time was a very important one. The policy 
of the President and of Congress had been to suppress 
the Rebellion without emancipation. Conciliatory measures 
were proposed, and it was fondly hoped that we should "have 
the Constitution without change, and tlie Union as it was." 
But the conviction deepened with the passing months that 
we must strike at the chief support of the Rebellion before 
it could be suppressed. Mr. Lincoln had been careful and 
conservative. He had rejected propositions to arm the 
negroes. He had disallowed the order of General Fremont 
declaring the negroes free within the limits of his command. 
Still, at this time he felt the probability of emancipation, a 
probability which engaged and disturbed the minds of the 
people ; and to a friend who wrote him strongly against such 
a movement, replied: "You must not expect me to give up 
this government Avithout playing my last card." The parties 
throughout the North had risen to the most decided antag- 
onism, and so high did feeling run, and so strong was the 
conservative spirit, that Republican defeat was threatened 
in many States. At such a time Mr. Blaine entered Con- 
gress, and so pronounced was his support of the Union, so 
eagerly did he labor for the welfare of the army, and so 
patriotic was every movement, that he soon attracted much 

As a committeeman he distinguished himself by the ease 
and rapidity with which he did his work. He seemed to 
catch at a glance the significance of a proposition, and his 
decision Avas both easy and rapid. 

6 Words of James Gr. Blaine. 

As a speaker and debater lie has few equals. The pages 
of the Congressional Record bear Avitness to this, and he 
who doubts has only to examine. When he rose in his place, 
it was always for a purpose. He was armed with the testi- 
mony needed, and he pressed his argument as steadily in the 
face of opponents, as he would have done in a company of 
friends. Who does not remember the Amnesty Speech, 
when the proposition to remove political disabilities from 
leading Southerners was proposed and advocated? The 
speech was very plain. In the face of men who had been in 
arms and open rebellion against the government he reread 
the page of history. He went on in plain language to draw 
comparisons and denounce their course. He was interrupted 
by Mr. Hill, of Georgia, and by Mr. Cox, of New York. Men 
scarcely refrained from applying insulting language, but still 
he went on. To each man he read from his own acts and 
speeches, gaining a step in his argument with each move- 
ment, until the feeling became actually painful, and the oppo- 
sition, baffled, undertook to take up the remainder of his 
hour by raising parliamentary questions. 

Even more dramatic was his defence on an occasion 
described by Mr. Ramsdell, a well-known journalist, who 
says : " His management of his own case when the Mulligan 
Letters came out was worthy of any general who ever set a 
squadron in the field. For nearlj^ fifteen years I have looked 
down from the galleries of the House and Senate, and I 
never saw, and never expect to see, and never read of a 
scene where the grandeur of human effort was better illus- 
trated than when this great orator rushed down the aisle, 

Sis Public Career. 7 

and, in the very face of Proctor Knott, charged him with 
suppressing a telegram favorable to Blaine. The whole floor 
and all the galleries were wild with excitement. Men jelled 
and cheered, women waved their handkerchiefs and went 
into hysterics, and the whole floor was little less than a 

As Speaker of the House Mr. Blaine gained a wide repu- 
tation. Intimate knowledge of parliamentary law, intimate 
knowledge of the rules and precedents of that body, a keen 
observation, and a power of .quick decision, were some of the 
characteristics that gave his work efliciency. Add to this 
a clear voice and impressive manner, and you have the man 
whose decisions, when appealed from, were uniformly sus- 
tained, and sustained often by the men who were his most 
bitter opponents. 

Mr. Blaine was elected to the House in 1862, and served 
until 1876, when he was appointed to the Senate, by Governor 
Connor, to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of 
Senator Morrill. He served three full terms as Speaker, and 
was elected in every case without opposition in his party. 

He was elected to the Senate in 1877 for the full term of 
six years, but resigned in March, 1881, to become secretary 
of state, holding that office until December 19, 1881, when 
he resigned. Since that time Mr. Blaine has been in private 
life, and has devoted his spare hours to the preparation of 
his '^ Twenty Years of Congress," which has recently ap- 
peared. This is not the time or place to undertake an 
estimate of that work. A public man can scarcely hope for 
justice at the hands of critics. They know his opinions, his 

8 Words of James G. Blaiyie. 

various battles, and any peculiar tendencies that have shown 
themselves in his life. And they are all ready and waiting 
to have their fling at these. His book cannot be put up, as 
you would hang a picture before you, and judged on its 
merits. So, some will praise and some will condemn, but few 
will take the trouble to pass an unbiased literary judgment. 
But the sifting hand of time will change all this, and the day 
will come when " Twenty Years of Congress " will command 
a very wide respect, both for the historical value of its 
pages, and for the excellent style in which it is written. 

Mr. Blaine is fifty-four years of age, and long ago married 
his excellent wife. He has six children. The eldest daugh- 
ter was recently married to Colonel Coppinger, of the army. 
The eldest son. Walker Blaine, is a lawyer, and served as 
third assistant-secretary of state under the Garfield adminis- 
tration. He has also given much time to the study of poli- 
tics, of which he has a wide and varied knowledge. The 
second son, Emmons Blaine, now holds an important position 
in the management of a Western railroad. The other mem- 
-bers of the family reside at home, and indeed the home is so 
attractive that all return when a favorable ojDportunity pre- 
sents itself. 

If one further word is needed, let me add that the pastors 
of the church in which Mr. Blaine has worshiped for many 
years have spoken in the highest terms of him, and that he 
occupies a position which is flattering to any man, because 
he is held in the highest regard by his immediate neighbors, 
who have lived by his side for many years. 


The people of the United States iu their organized capacity constitute a nation, and 
not a mere confederacy of States. The national government is supreme within the 
sphere of its national duty, but the States have reserved rights whicli should be faith- 
fully maintained; each should be guarded with zealous care so that the harmony of our 
system of government may be preserved and the Union be kept inviolate. — Republican 
Platform, 1884. 


[Selections from a speech delivered in the Senate of the United States, May 19, 1874.] 

Mr. President: Whether the honorable Senator from 
Connecticut [Mr. Eaton] or myself should the more cor- 
rectly remember a quotation from Mr. Webster's speeches is 
a matter of very small personal consequence, and of no 
public importance whatever. It is not, therefore, with any 
intention of vindicating a better memory or a more accurate 
quotation that I refer to this subject ; but it is because there 
has been a labored and persistent attempt, in v/hich I am 
sorry the Senator from Connecticut has taken part, 


and declare that near the close of his life and at the 
end of his political career he changed his views, and that 
he had somewhere to some public assemblage practically 
retracted the great arguments he had made against the 
State-rights heresies and in behalf of the Constitution and 

10 Words of James G-. Blaine. 

the Union. The honorable Senator from Connecticut on 
the occasion to which he has himself made reference spoke 
thus : " I said that Mr. Webster called this ' a confederacy 
of States.' I say he called it not only a confederacy of 
States, but a confederation of States." 

Further down, during a little colloquy between the Sena- 
tor and myself, he said : " When he reads a few words from 
a certain speech of Mr. Webster, does the honorable Senator 
from Maine undertake to assert on this floor that Mr. Web- 
ster did not again and again call this government not only a 
confederation of States but a compact between States ? I 
say he did." 

Further on the Senator said: "When the proper time 
arrives — I have not the library of Mr. Webster in my 
pocket, I do not carry it around Avith me [laughter] — when 
the proper time arrives I will show tliat 


and the Constitution a compact." 

The honorable Senator came into the Senate on Friday 
last and very fully and magnanimously admitted that he had 
not been able to find, anywhere in Mr. Webster's speeches, 
that he had called this government a "confederacy of 
States," but he was very sure he had called it a compact and 
"a compact between the States." Let me read what the 
honorable Senator said: "In 1851, in his celebrated Capon 
Springs speech, the language of Mr. Webster admits of no 
dispute. Whatever he may have said on other occasions, 
whatever he said in his great discussion on the floor of the 

National Sovereignty. 11 

Senate with Mr. Hayne or with Mr. Calhoun, on the occasion 
of this speech, in the most unqualified manner he asserted 
the fact for which I contend, that the Constitution is a com- 
pact between parties competent to enter into a compact, to 
Avit, the States." 

The honorable Senator held in his hand at that time a very 
mischievous book, and I may say he derived his facts, if not 
his inspiration, from that book, which I have now before me. 
It is a book Avritten by a gentleman of great influence in the 
Southern country, of acknowledged ability, of long and emi- 
nent service in the public councils, — Mr. Alexander H. 
Stephens, of Georgia. It is, as I have said, a mischievous 
book. It is mischievous in its title, it is mischievous in its 
preface, it is mischievous in every word from the opening to 
the closing chapter ; and it is mischievous because, although 
a sincere man himself, I believe it is an elabonite tissue of 
absolute misrepresentations, and misrepresentations from a 
sincere man are much more mischievous than misrepresenta- 
tions from one Avho designs to misrepresent. 

In this book, which the honorable Senator from Connecti- 
cut then held in his hand, Mr. Stephens takes the ground 


and changed his views in regard to the nature of our gov- 
ernment. On the four hundred and third page of the first 
volume he says : " But besides all this, as a further proof of 
Mr. Webster's change of views as to the Constitution being 
a compact between the States, I cite you to a later speech 
made by him at Capon Springs, in Virginia, on the twenty- 
eighth of June, 1851." 

12 Wo7'dB of James Gr. Blaine. 

And lie quotes then what the Senator from Connecticut 
quoted. Then Mr. Stephens says : " In this speech Mr. 
Webster distinctly held that the Union was a union of 
States. That the Union was founded upon compact." 

Further on Mr. Stephens says : " I did not agree with him 
[Mr. Webster] in his exposition of the Constitution in 1833, 
but I did fully and cordially agree with him in his exposition 
in 1839 and 1851. According to that, the Constitution was 
and is a compact between the States." 

And in 


that took place in 1861, handing it down to posterity in a his- 
tory entitled " The War Between the States," instead of a 
rebellion against the government, Mr. Stephens endeavors to 
enlist Mr. Webster as one of the witnesses that justified that 
line of proceeding. 

Mr. President, mere definition is not a matter on which 
time can be profitably spent, much less on the rhetorical use 
of a word. When a man speaks of a " compact" rhetorically, 
when he speaks of a " continental empire " rhetorically, or 
when he speaks of an " imperial republic " rhetorically, or 
when, like the Senator from Connecticut, he speaks of a 
"representative republic of sovereign States," I do not 
expect to hold him very closely to the line of the definition ; 
and if it were a mere matter of words as to how this man or 
that man happened in a piece of public declamation to define 
the nature of the government, it would not be worth while 
here to spend the time of the Senate upon it. But the hon- 

National Sovereignty. 13 

orable Senator from Connecticut knows, and all with whom 
he if associated in the political revolution now attempted in 
this country know, that upon the line of division involved in 
these words is waged the contest between the two great par- 
ties that are contending for mastery in this country; that 
here is involved the true construction" under which this gov- 
ernment is to be administered — 


or whether it shall be the mere creature of the States, living 
and breathing and moving at their will and pleasure. On 
that line the two parties in this country divide ; and I have 
never known a more extraordinary attempt — I will not say 
disingenuous, for that would imply motive — I have never 
known a more extraordinary attempt to twist or turn or con- 
found distinctions than the attempt to make Mr. Webster's 
speech at Capon Springs the basis on which this revelation 
of his change of view should be established. Both Mr. 
Stephens in his history and the honorable Senator from Con- 
necticut in his speech quoted from a pamphlet copy of Mr. 
Webster's Capon Springs address. I thought I discovered 
when the honorable Senator was speaking, that he was not 
specially familiar with the writings of Mr. Webster ; I Iiope 
he will not think me scant in courtesy if I say that I have 
discovered still less familiarity now, because he need not 
have gone to Mr. Stephens's history to get these extracts, nor 
need he have referred to lost pamphlets, containing the 
whole speech, for here in the 

14 Words of James Gr. Blame. 


the biography to which Mr. Webster's friends are willing to 
trust his fame, his life by George T. Curtis, the speech is 
given in full. And just after that speech was delivered this 
same delusion which the Senator from Connecticut indicates 
went all over the South. It was everywhere lieralded in the 
South that Mr. Webster had defined the Union as " a com- 
pact," and here is what his eminent biographer says in 
regard to the report : — 

" What Mr. Webster had said at Capon Springs, in speak- 
ing of one of the compacts or compromises between the 
Northern and Southern sections of the Union, on which the 
Constitution was founded, was at once misrepresented, 
especially in North Carolina" (there was an important 
election pending in that State at the time, I believe), " as 
a confirmation by him of the doctrine that the Constitution 
itself is a compact between sovereign States, and as drawing 
after it, as a resulting right, the right of State secession from 
the Union. A citizen of North Carolina accordingly wrote 
to Mr. Webster on this subject, and received from him the 
following answer, which was immediately made public." 

I will not read the whole of it, but Mr. Webster says, 
speaking of the government : " It is 


and it proceeds upon the idea that it is to be perpetual, 
like other forms of government, subject only to be dissolved 
by revolution. . . . What I said at Capon Springs was an 
argument addressed to the North and intended to convince 

National Sovereignty, 15 

the North that if, by its superiority of numbers, it should 
defeat the operation of a plain, undou])ted, and undeniable 
injunction of the Constitution, intended for the especial 
protection of the South, such a proceeding must necessarily 
end in the breaking up of the government; that is to say, 
in a revolution." 

Here is what Mr. Webster, in the speech itself, said in re- 
viewing the condition of public sentiment then threatening, 
as it afterward broke out in revolution ; and here is what 
Mr. Stephens is careful not to quote, and what, therefore, my 
honorable friend in his speech could not have been expected 
to quote. Mr. Webster, in referring to the disunion move- 
ment found in the SoLith, the State-rights movement then 
running all over the South, said : — 

" I make no argument against resolutions, conventions, 
secession speeches, or proclamations. Let these things go 
on. The whole matter, it is to be hoped, will blow over, and 
men will return to a sounder mode of thinking. But one 
tiling'' (and this is put in italics here as it was in the 
National Intelligencer, which was Mr. Webster's immediate 
organ in those days), " But one tiling, gentlemen, he assured 
of, the first step taken in tlie ^programme of secession, ivhich 
shall be an actual i'rifringement of the Constitution or the laivs, 
tvill he promptly met. [Great applause.] And I would not 
remain an hour in any administration that should not im- 
mediately meet any such violation of the Constitution and 
the law effectually and at once. [Prolonged applause.] " 

16 Words of James Gr. Blaine. 


But, Mr. President, how absurd, Iioav unjust, is the idea of 
going around and catching up a chance speecli at a watering- 
place in order to convince a certain section of this country 
which drifted into war in support of a bad theory, and which 
is drifting back into that theory as fast as it can ! How ab- 
surd, how unjust, is the idea of picking up a chance speech 
delivered in answer to a serenade as the conclusive constitu- 
tional opinions of Mr. Webster, when Mr. Webster himself 
had left in the very last year of his life, and after that speech 
was delivered, six volumes of his works, on which he desired 
to go down to posterity, on which he rested his fame, and on 
which he inscribed formal introductions ; from which I quote 
the following : " The principles and opinions expressed in 
these productions are such as I believe to be essential to the 
preservation of the Union, the maintenance of the Constitu- 
tion, and the advancement of the country to still higher 
stages of prosperity and renown. Tliese objects have con- 
stituted my polar star during the whole of my political life, 
which has now extended through more than half the period 
of the existence of the government." 

On these speeches, delivered by Mr. Webster in the Senate 
and in the House and on great public occasions, revised l)y 
himself, published under his auspices, he committed himself 
to history; and from these neither Mr. Stephens in his mis- 
chievous history nor the honorable Senator from Connecticut 
affects to quote anything at all. You can hardly open a sol- 
itary page in the whole six volumes that does not contain 
a startling refutation of all the theories that they now pre- 

National Soverei<jnt>j. 17 

tend Mr. Webster had admitted in the closing days of his 
life. Let me pick out one instance at random. 

In some very brief remarks that I made the other after- 
noon when the bill was about to be voted upon which the 
President vetoed, 


as represented in this chamber were the followers of 
the State-rights school of Democracy represented by Mr. 
Calhoun and Mr. Breckinridge. I believe I was correct in 
stating that ; I believe I was quite within the facts. I read 
now from Mi*. Calhoun's own definition in his celebrated dis- 
cussion with Mr. Webster, and I tliink the resolution exactly 
fits and fills the idea of the Senator from Connecticut as to 
the true theory of this government, if I understood him 
aright. Mr. Calhoun submitted the following: '-'•Resolved^ 
That the people of the several States composing these United 
States are united as parties to a constitutional compact, to 
which the people of each State acceded as a separate sov- 
ereign community, each binding itself by its own particular 
ratification ; and that the Union, of which the said com- 
pact is the bond, is a Union between the /States ratifying the 

That is the Democratic theory to-day. I doubt if there 
is a Senator on the other side of the chamber who will con- 
trovert these words of Mr. Calhoun ; the Senator from Con- 
necticut asserts the same doctrine in terms. Mr. Calhoun 
then goes on in a long series of resolutions controverting the 
idea that we constitute a nation. In answer, Mr. Webster, 

18 Words of James Gr. Blaine, 

after an elaborate speech, sums up and says : " And now, sir, 
against all these tlieories and opinions, I maintain — 1. That 
the Constitution of the United States is not a league, con- 
federacy, or compact between the people of the several States 
in their sovereign capacities, but a government proper, 
founded on the adoption of the people, and creating direct 
relations between itself and individuals." 


I know you will not get tired hearing Mr. Webster. I 
am making a very good speech out of his works, far better 
than anything I could say myself. The honorable Senator 
dwelt at length, and dwelt \Yith that modest form of affirma- 
tion which sometimes distinguishes his utterances, upon the 
idea that no man could deny that it was the States that 
formed the Constitution, and he quoted as conclusive on that 
point the provision that it should go into effect upon the 
ratification of nine States. Mr. Webster in his second speech 
on Foote's resolution, spoke thus : " Sir, the opinion Avhich 
the honorable gentleman [Mr. Calhoun] maintains is a 
notion founded in a total misapprehension, in my judgment, 
of the origin of this government, and of the foundation on 
which it stands. I hold it to be a popular government, 
erected by the people ; those who administer it, responsible 
to the people ; and itself capable of being amended and 
modified, just as the people may choose it should be. It is 
as popular, just as truly emanating from the people, as the 
State governments. It is created for one purpose ; the State 
governments for another. It has its own poAvers ; they have 

National Sovereignty. 19 

theirs," And then Mr. Webster adds: "We are here to 
administer a Constitution emanating immediately from the 
people, and trusted by them to our administration. It is not 
the creature of the State governments. It is of no moment 
to the argument, that certain acts of the State Legislatures 
are necessary to fill our seats in this body. That is not one 
of their original State poAvers, a part of the sovereignty of 
the State. It is a duty which the people by the Constitution 
itself have imposed on the State Legislatures ; and which 
they might have left to be performed elsewhere, if they had 
seen fit." He says u\ another speech: "So much, sir, for 
the argument, even if the premises of the gentleman were 
granted or could be proved. But, sir, the gentleman has 
failed to maintain his leading proposition. He has not 
shown, it cannot be shown, that the Constitution is ' a com- 
pact between State governments.' The Constitution itself, 
in its very front, refutes that idea. It declares that it is 
ordained and established by the people of the United States." 
And yet Mr. Stephens solemnly represents and asserts that 
Mr. Webster recanted that opinion. "The Constitution 
itself, in its very front, refutes that idea. It declares that it 
is ordained and established by the people of the United 
States. So far from saying that it is established by the gov- 
ernments of the several States, it does not even say that it 
is established by the people of the several States ; but it 
pronounces that it is established by the people of the 
United States in the aggregate. The gentleman says it 
must mean no more than the people of the several States. 
Doubtless the people of the several States, taken collectively, 

20 Words of James G. Blaine. 

constitute the people of the United States ; but it is in this 
their collective capacity, it is as all the people of the United 
States, that they establish the Constitution. So they declai-e, 
and words cannot be plainer than the words- used. When 
the gentleman says the Constitution is a compact between 
tlie States he uses language exactly applicable to the old con- 
federation. He speaks as if he were in Congress before 
1789. He describes fully that old state of things then exist- 
ing. The confederation Avas in strictness a compact ; the 
States, as States, were parties to it. We had no other gen- 
eral government." 


The other allegation of Mr. Stephens was that Mr. Web- 
ster, in 1838, five years after his speeches of 1833, had 
refused to vote against certain resolutions of Mr. Calhoun, 
and that this refusal was a very pregnant suggestion that he 
had then changed his mind. He makes a very solemn 
presentation of the fact that in a series of five resolutions 
which Mr. Calhoun introduced in 1838, involving all the 
heretical doctrines of the State-i-ights, pro-slavery democracy, 
Mr. Webster had not voted. He does not say that Mr. 
Webster voted for them, but that he had not voted against 
them. Those resolutions of Mr. Calhoun were introduced 
in December, 1837. They went on, as such resolutions will, 
being a football for political debate, for some months. On 
the 22d of March, 1838, after they had been passed upon by 
the Senate, Mr. AVebster referred to them as follows, in 
regard to the slavery question : " Sir, this is a very grave 
matter; it is a subject very exciting and inflammable. I 

National Sovereig7ity, 21 

take, of course, all the responsibility belonging to my opin- 
ions ; but I desire those opinions to be understood, and fairly 
stated. If I am to be regarded as an enemy to the South 
because I could not support the gentleman's resolutions, be 
it so. I cannot purchase favors from any quarter by the 
sacrifice of clear and conscientious convictions. The prin- 
cipal resolution declared that Congress had plighted its faith 
not to interfere either with slavery or the slave trade in the 
District of Columbia. Now, sir, that is quite a new idea. 
I never heard it advanced until this session." Mr. Webster 
then proceeds to argue still further : '' On such a question, sir, 
when I- am asked what the Constitution is, or whether any 
power granted by it has been compromised away, or, indeed, 
could be compromised away, I must express my honest 
opinion, and always shall express it, if I say anything, not- 
withstanding it may not meet concurrence either in the 
South, or the North, or the East, or the West. I cannot 
express by my vote w]iat I do not believe. The gentleman 
has chosen to bring that subject into this debate, with which 
it has no concern, but he may make the most of it, if he 
thinks he can produce unfavorable impressions against me 
at the South for my negative to his fifth resolution. As to 
the rest of them, they were commonplaces generally or 
abstractions, in regard to which one may well feel himself 
not called on to vote at all." 

And with that record right before him Mr. Stephens writes 
that Mr. Webster's ominous refusal to vote on the resolutions 
indicated a change of mind, when here was his defiant review 
of the whole subject of Mr. Calhoun's heresies. And then 


Words of James Gr. Blaine. 

Mr. AVebster proceeded with some remarks which I am dis- 
posed to think might now be addressed to the other side of 
the chamber, mutatis 7nutandis^ and we should hardly 
realize that forty years had gone by. Let me read a single 
paragraph — I wish it were original with me, addressed as 
Mr. Webster then addressed it — to the opposite side of the 
chamber : — 

" The honorable member from Carolina himself habitually 
indulges in charges of usurpation and oppression against the 
government of his country. He daily announces its impor- 
tant measures, in the language in which our revolutionary 
fathers spoke of the oppressions of the mother country. 
Not merely against executive usurpation, either real or 
supposed, does he utter these sentiments, but against laws of 
Congress, laws passed by large majorities, laws sanctioned 
for a course of 3'ears by the people. These laws he proclaims, 
every hour, to be but a series of acts of oppression. He 
speaks of them as if it were an admitted fact that such is 
their true character. This is the language he utters, these 
are the sentiments he expresses, to the rising generation 
around him. Are they sentiments and language which are 
likely to inspire our children with the love of union, to 
enlarge their patriotism, or to teach them, and to make them 
feel that their destiny has made them common citizens of 
one grand and glorious Republic ? A principal object in his 
late political movements, the gentleman himself tells us, was 
to unite the entire South ; and against whom or what does he 
wish to unite the entire South ? Is not this the very essence 
of local feeling and local regard? Is it not the acknoAvledg- 

National Sovereignty. 23 

ment of a wish and object to create political strength by 
uniting political opinions geographically ? . . . Finally, the 
honorable member declares that he shall now march off under 
the banner of State-rights. March off from whom ? March off 
from what ? We have been contending for great principles. 
We have been struggling to maintain the liberty and to 
restore the prosperity of our country. We have made these 

struggles here, in the nfftional councils, with the old flag 

the true American flag, the eagle and the stars and stripes — 
waving over the chamber in which we sit. He now tells us, 
however, that he marches off under the State-rights banner. 
Let him go. I remain. I am Avliere I have ever been, and 
ever mean to be." 


The honorable Senator from Georgia the other day 
made a speech that was somewhat remarkable. Among 
other things, he depicited the overwhelming grief he had at 
the secession of the Southern States; and when he was 
called upon by the independent voters of the county of 
Troup to represent them in the secession convention he 
wrote this letter to them as he says : " I will consent to the 
dissolution of the Union as I would consent to the death of 
my father, never from choice, only from necessity, and then 
in sorroAV and sadness of heart." 

Well, he was elected on that platform, and he went to' the 
convention, and the convention, as we all know, passed the 
ordinance of secession. And in the evening of January 19, 
1861, he writes to a friend a letter which he quotes himself: 

24 Wo/'ds of Jamea G. Blahte, 

" Dear Sir : The deed is done. Georgia this day left the 
Union. Cannon have been firing and bells tolling. At this 
moment people are filling the streets shouting vociferously. 
A large torchlight procession is moving from house to house 
and calling out speakers. The resolution declaratory passed 
on yesterday, and similar scenes were enacted last night. 
The crowd called loudly for me, but my room was dark, my 
heart was sad, and my tongue was silent. Whoever may be 
in fault is not now the question. Whether by the North or 
by the South or by both, the fact remains : the Union has 
fallen. The most favored sons of freedom have written 
a page in history which despots will read to listening subjects 
for centuries to come to prove that the people are not 
capable of self-government. How can I think thus and feel 
otherwise than badly ? " 

Here is the " ordinance to dissolve the Union between 
the State of Georgia and other States united with her 
under a compact of government entitled the Constitution of 
the United States." This is the original journal of the 
Georgia convention ; it is a rare book. The literature of 
that section from some cause is very hard to procure. 
"We, the people of the State of Georgia, in convention 
assembled, do declare and ordain, and it is hereby declared 
and ordained. That the ordinance adopted by the people 
of the State of Georgia in convention on the second day 
of January, in the year of our Lord 1788, whereby the 
Constitution of the United States of America was assented 
to, ratified, and adopted ; and also all acts and parts of acts 
by the General Assembly of this State, ratifying and adopt- 

National Sovereignty. 25 

ing amendments of the said Constitution, are hereby 
repealed, rescinded, and abrogated. AYe do further declare 
and ordain. That the union now subsisting between the State 
of Georgia and other States, under the name of ' United 
States of America,' is hereby dissolved, and that the State 
of Georgia is in the full possession and exercise of all those 
rights of sovereignty which belong and appertain to a free 
and independent State." 

That was the ordinance which the Senator from Georgia 
said to the people of Troup he would consent to, as he would 
to the death of his father, and the ordinance which the 
evening after it was passed so filled his heart with sadness 
that he put out the lights in his room and would not make 
a speech to a crowd outside serenading him. I have read 
the yeas and nays on that and what is my unbounded 
surprise to find that the Senator from Georgia himself voted 
for the ordinance. Here he is, "Hill, of Troup." I believe 
I am right in saying that he is the man. There were two or 
three Hills, all voting for it, but " Hill, of Troup," voted for 
it, and he cannot say in defence of that vote, that he did it 
because there was one of those tempestuous and tumultuous 
rushes of public opinion which bear everything before it, and 
which no man could resist. We know what that is. It 
sometimes assumes such positive and portentous force as to 
have moblike violence. That Avas not so in this convention. 
On the call of the yeas and nays, there were 208 in favor of 
the ordinance of secession and 89 against it, and in the 89 were 
Alexander H. Stephens and Herschel V. Johnson, who had 
that very year run for Vice-President on the Douglas ticket. 

26 Wo7-ds of James Cr. Blaine. 

The Senator from Georgia [Mr. Hill], who would consent to 
it, just as he would to tlie death of his father, made up his 
mind that if two hundred and eight men wanted to murder 
the old man he would join with them. [Great laughter and 
applause.] Rather than be in a minority he would join the 
murderous crowd [laughter] and be a parricide. 

Nobody would possibly infer from the speech the honor- 
able Senator made tlie other day, that he had voted for the 
ordinance; and I do not say this with any feeling, because 
I have none. It is now indeed a most extraordinary thing 
to find a gentleman from the South who was orignally for 
secession. I do not know who was. I see very pleasant 
and complimentary biographies of the various Senators on 
that side, and they were all dragged into secession. 


I was referring to the fact that the lionorable Senator 
from Georgia — at the time he rested his eye directly 
on the Senator from Connecticut, whose pleasant face 
I love to look into — gave us the assurance on this side, 
that we were tremendously mistaken in supposing the 
Republicans had done anything toward saving the Union ; 
it was the Democrats that had saved it, the Northern Demo- 
crats. Well, I said, if that be so, Mr. Lincoln was the 
victim of a prodigious delusion. Mr. Lincoln did not think 
so. It happened under the authority of a military officer 
who now graces this body with his presence, the Senator 
from Rhode Island [Mr. Burnside], that Mr. Vallandigham 
was arrested. His release was sought by a committee of a 

National Sovereignty. 


great convention of the Democrats of Ohio. They had a 
very notable intervicAV, and a very notable correspondence 
with Mr. Lincoln, and I beg after the lapse of fifteen or 
sixteen years to refer to that correspondence. I will read an 
extract, the moral of which will explain itself: "At the 
same time" (says Mr. Lincoln) " yonr nominee for 
governor, in whose behalf you appeal, is known to you and 
to the world to declare against the use of an army to 
suppress the rebellion. Your own attitude, therefore, en- 
courages desertion, resistance to the draft, and the like, 
because it teaches those who incline to desert and to escape 
the draft, to believe it is your purpose to protect them, and 
to hope that you will become strong enougli to do so. After 
a short personal intercourse with you, gentlemen of the 
committee, I cannot say I think you desire this effect to 
follow your attitude ; but I ass-ure you that both friends and 
enemies of the Union look upon it in this light." 

Mr. Lincoln distinctly understood how the South regarded 
it. " Both friends and enemies of the Union look upon it 
in this light. It is a substantial hope, and by consequence 
a real strength to the enemy. It is a false hope, and one 
w^hich you would willingly dispel. I will make the way 
exceedingly easy. I send you duplicates of this letter, in 
order that you, or a majority, may, if you choose, indorse 
your names upon one of them, and return it thus indorsed to 
me, with the understanding that those signing are thereby 
committed to the following propositions, and to nothing 

Now, mark you, he was addressing a committee that 

28 Words of James Gr. Blaine, 

represented the Democratic party of Ohio, speaking for the 
whole party. Mr. Lincoln says, I want you to commit 
yourself just to this, gentlemen, nothing else: "1. That 
there is now a rebellion in the United States, the object and 
tendency of which is to destroy the National Union ; and 
that, in your opinion, an army and navy are constitutional 
means for suppressing that rebellion ; 2. That no one will 
do anything which, in his own judgment, will tend to 
hinder the increase or favor the decrease or lessen the effi- 
ciency of the army and navy, while engaged in the effort to 
suppress that rebellion ; and 3. That each of you will, in 
his sphere, do all he can to have the officers, soldiers, and 
seamen of the army and navy, while engaged in the effort 
to suppress the rebellion, paid, fed, clad, and otherwise well 
provided for and supported. And with the further under- 
standing that, upon receiving the letter and names thus 
indorsed, I will cause them to be published, which publica- 
tion shall be, within itself, a revocation of the order in 
relation to Mr. Vallandigham." 

And this party, this Northern Democratic party that 
fought out the rebellion and restored the Union, would not 
put their names to these propositions. These representa- 
tives of a State convention that spoke for the entire party 
would not acknowledge that there was a rebellion, would 
not acknowledge that an army and navy could be used to 
suppress it, would not acknowledge that they would do 
anything whatever to aid in jDaying or feeding or clothing 
or supporting that army. So Mr. Lincoln gave them in 
another letter on the same subject, a letter addressed to 

National Sovereignty. 29 

Mr. Corning, of New York, a little advice, applicable to both 
— -advice which I think will live for its patriotism and 
eloquence almost as long as his Gettysburg speech. He 
wrote to Mr. Corning : " Long experience has shown 
that armies cannot be maintained unless desertion shall be 
punislied by the severe penalty of death. The case requires, 
and the law and Constitution sanction, this punishment. 
Must I shoot a simple-minded soldier-boy who deserts, while 
I must not touch a hair of a wily agitator who induces him 
to desert ? This is none the less injurious when effected by 
getting a father, or brother, or friend, into a public meeting, 
and there working upon his feelings until he is persuaded to 
write the soldier-boy that he is fighting in a bad cause, for a 
wicked administration of a contemptible government, too 
weak to arrest and punish him if he shall desert. I think 
that, in such a case, to silent the agitator and to save the boy 
is' not only constitutional, but withal a great mercy." 

That is what he did. He sent a good many of the Demo- 
cratic agitators to Fort Lafayette and saved the boys. 


Mr. President, I do not think that the evil that has 
been done to this country, by publications like the one 
I referred to from Mr. Alexander H. Stephens, has yet 
been measured. I do not think the evil that has been done 
to the Southern country by the schoolbooks in the hands of 
their children has been measured. Many of the books put 
into the hands of the rising generation of the South are 
tinctured all through with prejudice and misrepresentation 
and with a spirit of hatred. 

30 Wo7^ds of James Gr. Blaine. 

AYe are accused by our friends on the opposite side of the 
chamber of stirring up strife and generating hatred. I do 
not believe it would be possible to find in all the literature 
of the North for the schools and for the young a solitary 
paragraph intended or calculated to arouse hatred or suggest 
unpatriotic feelings toward any portion of the Union. A 
large portion of the South has been furnished with special 
schoolbooks calculated for the meridian, with the facts 
appended to suit that particular locality. It was said that 
for two generations a large portion of the English people 
believed that the American colonies had never achieved 
their independence but had been kicked off as a useless 
appendage to the British empire, and that they were glad to 
be rid of us. There is a large number of school children in 
the South who are educated with radically wrong notions 
and radically erroneous facts. I saw an arithmetic that was 
filled with examples — think of putting politics into arithme- 
tic — such as this : If ten cowardly Yankees had so many 
miles the start, and five brave confederates were following 
them, the first going at so many miles an hour, and the 
others following at so many miles an hour, how long before 
tlie Yankees would be overtaken ? Now think of putting 
that deliberately in a schoolbook and having school histories 
made up on that basis for children. I have here from a gen- 
tleman who, I believe, is a man of high j)osition, an extract 
which is so pertinent that I desire to read it. It is from an 
address before the literary societies of the Virginia Univer- 
sity, by Mr. John S. Preston, a gentleman of distinction, I 
believe, in the State of South Carolina. I want to read this 

National Sovereignty, 31 

merely to put it on record to show the pabulum on which the 
Southern mind feeds : " The Mayflower freight under the laws 
of England was heresy and crime. The Jamestown emigrant 
was an English freeman, loyal to his country and his God, with 
England's honor in his heart and English piety in his soul, 
and carrying in his right hand the charters, usages, and the 
laws which were achieving the regeneration of England. . . . 
These two people spoke the same language, and nominally 
read the same Bible ; but like the offspring of the Syrian 
princes, they were two manner of people, and they could not 
coalesce or commune. Their feud began beyond the broad 
Atlantic, and has never ceased on its Western shores. Not 
space, or time, or the convenience of any human law, or the 
power of any human arm, can reconcile institutions for the 
turbulent fanatic of Plymouth Rock and the God-fearing 
Christian of Jamestown. You may assign them to the closest 
territorial proximity, with all the forms, modes, and shows of 
civilization ; but you can never cement them into the bonds 
of brotherhood. Great nature, in her supremest law, forbids 
it. Territorial localization drove them to a hollow and un- 
natural armistice in effecting their segregation from England 
— the one for the lucre of traffic, the other to obtain a more 
perfect law of liberty ; the one to destroy foreign tea, the 
other to drive out foreign tyrants ; the one to offer thanks- 
giving for the fruit of the earth, the other to celebrate the 
gift of grace by the birth of Christ." 


I have here also a speech delivered by the honorable Sen- 
ator from South Carolina, the junior Senator from that State 

32 Words of James Gr. Blaine. 

[Mr. Hampton], before the Historical Society, I believe, of 
the South, and this has arrested my attention. Of course, 
I read it in no spirit of captious or personal criticism, but as 
a great public document; and if what I read means any- 
thing, it means a great deal : — 

" Lessoris from history. — These are the lessons our chil- 
dren should learn from tlieir mothers. Nor are these the 
only ones which should be iiiculcated, for the pages of history 
furnish many which should not be overlooked. These teach, 
in the clearest and most emphatic manner, that there is always 
hope for a people who cherish the spirit of freedom, who will 
not tamely give up their rights, and who, amid all the 
changes of time, the trials of adversity, remain steadfast to 
their convictions that liberty is their birthright. . . . 

" The South compared to Prussia and the North to France. 
— When Napoleon, in that wonderful campaign of Jena, 
struck down in a few weeks the whole military strength of 
Prussia, destroyed that army with which the great Frederick 
had held at bay the combined forces of Europe, and crushed 
out, apparently forever, the liberties, seemingly the very 
existence, of that great state, but one hope of her disenthral- 
ment and regeneration was left her — the unconquered and 
unconquerable patriotism of lier sons. As far as human 
foresight could penetrate the future, this hope appeared but 
a vain and delusive one ; yet only a few years passed before 
her troops turned the scale of victory of Waterloo, and the 
treaty of Paris atoned in part for the mortification of that of 
Tilsit. . . . She educated her children by a system Avhich 
made them good citizens in peace and formidable soldiers in 

National Sovereignty. 33 

war ; she kindled and kept alive the sacred fire of patriotism ; 
she woke the slumbering spirit of the Fatherland ; and what 
has been the result of this self-devotion of a whole people 
for half a century? Single-handed she has just met her old 
antagonist. The shame of her defeats of yore has been 
wiped out by glorious victories ; • the contributions extorted 
from her have been more than repaid ; her insults have been 
avenged, and her victorious eagles, sweeping over the broken 
lilies of her enemy, waved in triumph from the walls of con- 
quered Paris, while she dictated peace to prostrate and 
humbled France. Is not the moral to be drawn from this 
noble dedication of a people to the interests and honor of 
their country worth remembering? Hungary, in her recent 
struggle to throw off the yoke of Austria, was crushed to the 
earth, and yet to-day the Hungarians, as citizens of Austria, 
exercise a controlling power in that great empire." 

If the Senator speaks of a revival of a power that was 
once conquered, to be victorious at another Waterloo, with 
a crowning peace in Paris to atone for the humiliation of 
Tilsit,— if that means anything by analogy at all, it has a 
deep and far-reaching significance. 

Mk. Hampton. 

'• Peace hnth her victories 
No less renownil than war.'"' 

Mr. Blaine. But peace does not celebrate her victories 
on the plains of Waterloo. That is where war celebrates its 
triumphs. Peace does not celebrate itself by great armed 
hosts that are employed and marshaled for avenging result-, 
to which the honorable Senator called attention. That is not 

34 Words of James Gr. Blaine. 

the language of peace, and without the slightest intention to 
say anything discourteous, I sa}^ it is mere rhetoric — I leave 
out the adjective — it is mere rhetoric, or it is a prodigious 
menace. It is the one or the other. 

As to the pending bill, I need only to say that the laws 
proposed to be repealed are precisely the kind which Mr. 
Webster alluded to when he addressed Mr. Calhoun ; laws 
that have received the sanction of Congress and been for 
3^ears on the statute-book. They are there properly. They 
have secured justice ; they have assured fair and equal elec- 
tions ; they ought to be upheld ; and to this hour not one 
solitary reason has been shown for their repeal, with the 
single exception of a desire to grasp partisan power. It all 
moves in one direction. Every step has been taken since 
the Democratic party got into power in the House aud in the 
Senate in one direction, and that direction has been to the 
striking down of the Federal power arid the exaltation of the 
State power. This measure is but one. Others have gone 
before it ; others are to follow it. What may be their fate I 
do not know. We on this side will resist by every constitu- 
tional means, and you on that side, despite the threats of the 
Senator from Connecticut, will be obliged to submit in the 
end, and the power of this government will not be put down 
by a threat : it will not be put down by a combination : it 
will not be put down by a political party. It was not put 
down by a rebellion. It can meet another, either in the 
form of organized resistance in withholding supplies or in 
the more serious form which the language of the Senator 
from South Carolina seemed to foreshadow. 

National Sovereignty. 35 


[Speech delivered in the House of Bepresentatives, January 13, 1876.] 

Mr. Speaker: Before proceeding with the remarks 
which I shall address to the questions before the House, I 
desire to say that in the discussion on the point of order that 
was raised just prior to the adjournment last evening I did 
not intend to be understood and hope no gentleman under- 
stood me as implying that the honorable Speaker intended in 
any wa}^ to deprive me of the right to speak. I did not so 
understand the Speaker, nor did I understand it to be the 
motive or object of the gentleman from Pennsylvania [Mr. 
Randall]. I say this much in justice to myself and in justice 
to the honorable incumbent of the chair. 

From the tone of the debate on the opposite side of the 
chamber, Mr. Speaker, one would certainly imagine that the 
Republican party, as represented in Congress, was trying to 
inflict some new punishment or add some fresh stigma to the 
name of Jefferson Davis, as well indeed as to lay some 
additional burden on those other citizens of the South who 
are not yet fully amnestied. It may therefore not be un- 
profitable just to recall to the attention of the House the 
precise question at issue, and how it came here, and who it 
was that brought it here. 

The gentleman from Pennsylvania introduced a 


for what honor can be higher than tlie full panoplied 
citizenship of the United States of America ? He has lost 

36 Words of James Gr. Blaine. 

it by his crimes, and the gentleman from Pennsylvania 
proposes in hot haste, without debate, without amendment, 
to drag every gentleman up to say "Aye" or "No" upon 
a bill declaring him to be entitled now and henceforth to all 
the rights and all the honors of American citizenship. 
From that we dissent. We did not bring the question 
here. We are not seeking to throw any fresh element of 
an inflammatory kind into any discussion or difference that 
may be between two parties or two sections, and whatever 
of that kind has grown from this discussion lies at the door 
of the gentleman from Pennsylvania and those who stand 
with him. 

Remember, Mr. Speaker, it is no proposition to punish but 
a proposition to honor, and while we disclaim any intention 
or desire to punish Jefferson Davis, we resist the proposition 
to honor him. And right here, as a preliminary matter, I 
desire to address myself for a moment to the constitutional 
point suggested by the honorable gentleman from Massachu- 
setts [Mr. Seelye], who addressed the House last evening. 
He sees and 


laid at the door of Jefferson Davis, and he clearly pointed out 
that neither the gentleman from New York nor the gentle- 
man from Georgia had palliated or dared to palliate the 
crimes with which I charged him. But he is bothered by the 
scruple that because we are permitted to punish for partici- 
pancy in insurrection or rebellion we cannot make any dis- 
crimination or distinction. Why, the honorable gentleman 

National Sovereignty, 37 

must have forgotten that this is jDrecisely what we have been 
doing ever since the disability was imposed. We first 
removed the disabilities from the least offensive class ; then 
in the next list we removed those next in order of guilty 
participancy, and so on, until in 1872 we removed the 
disability from all, except the army and navy officers, mem- 
bers of Congress, and heads of departments. Why, sir, are 
we not as much justified to-day in excepting Jefferson Davis 
as we were in 1872 in excepting the seven hundred and 
fifty of whom he constitutes one ? Therefore I beg to say 
to my honorable friend, whose co-operation I crave, that 
that point is re% adjudicata by a hundred acts upon the 
statute-book. We are entirely competent to do just what is 
proposed in my amendment 

Now, Mr. Speaker, on the question of 


and on the great question as to who was to blame for 
breaking exchange, the speech of the honorable gentleman 
from Ohio [Mr. Garfield] has left me literally nothing 
to say. He exhausted the subject. His speech was unan- 
swerable, and I undertake to say that as yet no gentleman 
has answered one fact that he alleged — no gentleman in 
this House can answer one fact presented by him. I shall not 
therefore at any length dwell upon that. But in connection 
with one point in history there is something which I should 
feel it my duty, not merely as a member of the Republican 
party which upheld the administration that conducted the 
war, but as a citizen of the American Union, to resist and 

38 Worch of James (7. Blaine. 

resent, and that is, the allegations that were made in regard 
to the manner in which confederate prisoners were treated 
in the prisons of the Union. The gentleman from Georgia 
says : " I have also proved that with all the horrors you have 
made such a noise about as occurring at Andersonville, 
greater horrors occurred in the prisons where our troops 
were held." 

And I could not but admire the "our" and the ''your" 
with which the gentleman conducted the whole discussion. 
It ill comported with his later profession of Unionism. It 
was certainly flinging the shadow of a dead confederacy a 
long way over the dial of the National House of Representa- 
tives ; and I think the gentleman from New York fell into 
a little of the same line. Of that I shall sjDeak again. 


as he delivered it. I quote it as it appeared in tlie Daily 
Chronicle and the Associated Press report. I do not pretend 
to be bound by the version which may appear hereafter, 
because I observed that the gentleman from New York [Mr. 
Cox] spoke one speech and published another [great laugh- 
ter], and I suppose the gentleman from Georgia will do the 
same. I admit that the gentleman has a difficult role to 
play. He has to harmonize himself with the great Northern 
Democracy and keep himself in high line as a Democratic 
candidate for Senator from Georgia ; and it is a very difficult 
thing to reconcile the two. [Laughter.] The " barn-burner 
Democrats " in 1853 tried very hard to adhere to their anti- 

N'ational Sovereignty. 39 

slavery principles in New York and still support the Pierce 
administration ; and Mr. Greeley, with that inimitable humor 
which he possessed, said that they found it a very hard road 
to straddle, like a militia general on parade on Broadway, wlio 
finds it an almost im[)ossible task to follow the music and 
dodge the omnibuses. [Laughter.] And that is what the 
gentleman does. The gentleman tries to keep step to the 
music of the Union and dodge his hre-eating constituency in 
Georgia. [Great laughter.] Tlien here is another quota- 
tion : "We know our prisoners suffered in Federal hands, 
and we know how if we chose to tell. Thousands of our 
poor men came home from Fort Delaware and other places 
with their fingers frozen off, with their toes frozen oif, with 
their teeth fallen out." 

The gentleman from New York stated that "he had it 
on tire authority of sixty and odd gentlemen here, many 
of them having been in the service of the Confederacy 
during the war, that 


relative to prisoners who were taken by the South as to 
rations or clothing that did not apply equally to their own 
soldiers, and that any ex parte statements taken by that 
humbug committee on the conduct of the war could not 
controvert the facts of history." The gentleman, therefore, 
stands up here as denying the atrocities of Andersonville. 
He seconds the gentleman from Georgia and gives the weight 
of whatever may be attached to his word to denying that 

40 Words of James Gr. Blaine. 

fact. Now, the gentleman himself did not always talk so. 
I have here a debate that occurred on the twenty-first of 
December, 1864, in which, while the proposition was pending 
in the house for retaliation, the gentleman, then from Ohio, 
said : " This resolution provides for inflicting upon the rebel 
prisoners who may be in our hands the same inhumane, 
barbarous, horrible treatment, which has been inflcted upon 
our soldiers held as prisoners by the rebels. Now, Mr. 
Speaker " (continued th.e enraged gentleman at that time), 
"it does not follow that because the rebels have made 
brutes a'nd fiends of themselves that we should do likewise." 
"There is," he says, "a certain law of retaliation in 
war, I know; but" (continued the gentleman) "no man 
will stand up here and say, after due deliberation, that he 
would reduce these prisoners thrust into our hands into 
the same condition exhibited by these skeletons, these 
pictures, these anatomies brought to our attention and laid 
upon the desks of members of Congress." Then the gentle- 
man says : " It does not follow because our prisoners are 
treated in the way represented, and no doubt truthfully rep- 
resented." That is what the gentleman said in 1864; but 
when a solemn committee of Congress," made up of honorable 
gentlemen of both sides of the House, bring in exactly the 
statements Avhich verify all this, then the gentleman states 
" that the authority was a humbug committee." 

"Senator Hill, of Georgia, introduced the following res- 
olution in the Confederate Congress in October, 1862: 
' That every person pretending to be a soldier or officer of 

National Sovereignty . 41 

the United States who shall be captured on the soil of the 
Confederate States after the first day of January, 1863, shall 
be presumed to have entered the territory of the Confederate 
States with intent to incite insurrection and to abet murder ; 
and, unless satisfactory proof be adduced to the contrary 
before the military court before which the trial shall be had, 
he shall suffer death. And this section shall continue in 
force until the proclamation issued by Abraham Lincoln, 
dated Washington, September 22, 1862, shall be rescinded.' " 
Mr. Speaker, what does this mean ? What did 


when, from the committee on the judiciary, he introduced the 
following: "2. Every white person who shall act as a com- 
missioned or non-commissioned officer, commanding negroes 
or mulattoes against the Confederate States, or who shall 
arm organize, train, or prepare negroes or mulattoes for mili- 
tary service, or aid them in any military enterprise against 
the Confederate States, shall, if captured, suffer death. 3. 
Every commissioned or non-commissionrd officer of the 
enemy who shall incite slaves to rebellion, or pretend to 
give them freedom, under the afore-mentioned act of Con- 
gress and proclamation, by abducting, or causing them to be 
abducted, or inducing them to abscond, shall, if captured, 
suffer death." Now, Mr. Speaker, I have searched some- 
what, but in vain, for anything in the world that rivals this. 
I did find, and have here in my minutes, the proclamation of 
Valmeseda, the Captain-General of Cuba, who was recalled 
by Spain because of his atrocious cruelties to the inhabitants 

42 Words of James (7. Blaine. 

of that island ; and the worst thing in all the atrocities laid 
to his charge was that he proclaimed '' that every man or boy 
over fifteen years fonnd away from his house, not being able 
to give a satisfactory reason therefor, should suffer death." 
He copied it from the resolution of the gentleman from 

Now, Mr. Speaker, I hold in my hand a copy of the Atlan- 
ta Constitution, printed on the twenty-fourth, of January, 
1875. We are told that all these 


because they are all of the dead past. 

We are told that Ave should not revive them, that there 
should be nothing in the world brought up in any way to 
disturb the beautiful serenity of the centennial year, and 
that to make any allusion to them whatever is to do an 
unwelcome and unpatriotic act. The very last declaration we 
have from Jefferson Davis authentically, in the life which 
the gentleman from Georgia held the other day as a text- 
book, reads thus : — 

" Time will show, however, the amount of truth in the pro- 
phecy of Jefferson Davis " (says the biographer, made in 
reply to the remark that the cause of the Confederacy was 
lost. Mr. Davis said) : " It appears so, but the principle for 
which we contended is bound to reassert itself, though it 
may be at another time and in another form." 

Now, I have here, of the date of January 24, 1875, a speech 
by the Honorable B. H. Hill, in the Atlanta Constitution, 
and it is said to have been the "grandest speech" he ever 
delivered. . . . 

National Sovereignty. 43 

I quote from liim : " Fellow-citizens : I look to the contest 
of 1876 not only as the most important that ever occurred in 
American history, but as the most important in the history 
of the world ; for if the people of the country cannot be 
aroused to give an 


it will perpetuate itself in power in the United States 
by precisely the same means that the President has taken 
in Louisiana, and the people will be powerless to prevent 
it except they go to war. [Applause.] If we fail with the 
ballot-box in 1876 by reason of force, a startling question 
will present itself to the American people. I trust we will 
not fail. I hope the Northern people have had a sufficient 
subsidence of passion to see this question fairly." . . . 

The gentleman saj^s: "If we must have war; if we 
cannot preserve this Constitution and constitutional gov- 
ernment by the ballot; if force is to defeat the ballot; if 
the war must come — God forbid that it should come — 
but if it must come ; if folly, if wickedness, if inordinate 
love of power, shall decree that America must save her Con- 
stitution by blood, let it come ; I am ready." [Laughter.] 
And then the gentleman said, in another speech, of May 12: 
" He impressed upon the colored men of the country the 
truth that, if the folly and wickedness were consummated in 
war, they would be the greatest sufferers. If peace was pre- 
served they were safe, but as sure as one war had freed them, 
just as sure another war would re-enslave them." Now that 
was precisely the kind of talk we had here by folios and 

44 Words of James Gr. Blaine. 

reams before the rebellion. Oh, yes, you were for war 
then. The gentleman in his speech says that the Union now 
is an unmixed blessing, providing the Democratic party can 
rule it, but that if the Republican party must rule it he is 
for war. Why, that is just what Jefferson Davis said in 

I have here very much more of the same kind. I have 
been supplied with very abundant literature emanating from 
the gentleman, more indeed, than I have had time to read. 
He seems to have been as voluminous as the Spanish Chroni- 
clers. In one speech he says : " I must say a word about this 
list of disabilities removed. I would rather see my name 
recorded in the Georgia penitentiary than to find it on a list 
of the removal of disabilities. Why, my friends, do you 
not know that when you go to that Congress and ask for a 
removal of disabilities, jon admit that you are a traitor." 

Mr. Hill. What do you read from ? 

Mr. Blaine. From a report in a Cincinnati Daily 
Gazette, giving an account of a great meeting in 1868, at 
which Howell Cobb, Robert Toombs, and the Honorable 
B. H. Hill made speeches. And there the gentleman declared 
that he would rather have his name on the list of the 
Georgia penitentiary than on the list of the removal of dis- 

Mr. Speaker, I do not desire to stir up more needless ill- 
blood, but the gentleman from Ohio [Mr. Garfield] yesterday, 
apparently without much thought, spoke of a class of men in 
the Southern States who had committed perjury, and I 
would like to address the gentleman a question that he can 
answer when he gets the floor. 

National Sovereignty. 45 

Mr. Hill. Will you not allow me to answer it now ? 
Mr. Blaine. No, sir ; not now. 


if the Republican party retains power, and you and all these 
gentlemen who sympathize with you upon this floor, and who 
had taken an oath to bear true allegiance to the government 
of the United States, and that you took that oath without 
mental reservation, then revolt against the country : what 
would that be ? Would it have any relation to perjury ? 

But, Mr. Speaker, you see the effect of the speeches of the 
gentleman from Georgia. They are very tremendous down 
there. The very earth quakes under him. One of his 
organs says : " We assert without fear of contradiction that 
Mr. Hill in his bitter denunciation of scalawags and carpet- 
baggers has deterred thousands of them from entering the 
ranks of the Radical party. They dare not do so for fear of 
social ostracism, and to-day the white population of Georgia 
are unanimous in favor of the Democratic party." 

And when he can get the rest of the States to the same 
standard he is for war. 

Now, Mr. Speaker, the gentleman cannot, by withholding 
his speech here and revising it and adapting it to the North- 
ern Democracy, erase his speeches in Georgia. I have 
quoted from them. I have quoted from Democratic papers. 
There is no accusation that there is any perversion in 
Republican papers or that he was misrepresented. But 
the gentleman deliberately states that in a certain con- 
tingency of the 

46 Words of James G. Blaine. 


and I undertake here to say that, in all the mad, hot 
wrath in the Thirty-sixth Congress that precipitated the 
revolt in this country there is not one speech to be found 
that breathes a more determined rebellion against lawful 
authority or a guiltier readiness to resist it than the speech 
of the gentleman from Georgia. 

Mr. Speaker, I have not mnch time left. I said briefly in 
my first speech, that God forbid I should lay at the door of 
the Southern people, as a people, these atrocities. I repeat 
it. I lay no such charge at their door. Sir, I have read 
in this " ex parte humbug report " that there were deep 
movements among the Southern people abont these atroci- 
ties ; that there was a profound sensibility. I know that 
the leading officers of the Confederacy protested against 
them; 1 know that many of the snbordinate officers pro- 
tested against them. I know that an honorable gentleman 
from North Carolina, now representing his State in the other 
end of the Capitol, protested against them. But I have 
searched the records in vain to find that the gentleman from 
Georgia [Mr. Hill] protested against them. 


they were known at the doorway of your Senate and along 
the corridors of your Ca})itol. The honorable and venerable 
gentleman in my eye at this moment, who served in the Con- 
federate Congress, and who had before served in the Senate 
of the United States, himself brought them to the attention 
of the Confederate Congress, and I class him with great 

National Sovereignty. 47 

gladness among those whose humanity was never quenched 
by the fires of the rebellion. I allude to the Honorable 
Henry S. Foote. 

My time is running and I have but very little left. I confess 
— and I say it to the gentleman from Georgia with no per- 
sonal unkindness — I confess that my very blood boiled, if 
there was anything of tradition, of memory, of feeling, it 
boiled when I heard the gentleman, with his record, which I 
have read, seconded and sustained by the gentleman from 
New York, arraigning the administration of Abraham 
Lincoln, throwhig obloquy and slander upon the grave of 
Edwin M. Stanton, and demanding that Jefferson Davis 
should be restored to full citizenship in this country ! Ah I 
that is a novel spectacle ; the gentleman from. Georgia does 
not know how novel. The gentleman from Georgia does 
not know and he cannot know how many hundred thousand 
of Northern bosoms were lacerated by his course. 

I repeat, that proposition strikes — I might say 


that here, in an American Congress, the gentleman who 
offered that resolution in the Confederate Congress, who in 
his campaign for a seat in this House comes here breathing 
threatenings and slaughter, who comes here telling you that 
in a certain contingency he means war, advising his people 
to be ready for it — that gentleman, j^rofaning the very altar 
of patriotic liberty with the speech that sends him here, 
arraigning the administration that conducted the war and 

48 Words of James Gr. Blaine. 

saved the Union — that gentleman asks us to join with him 
in paying the last full measure of honor that an American 
Congress can pay to the arch enemy of the Union, the arch 
fiend of the rebellion. 

Suppose Jefferson Davis is not pardoned; suppose he is 
not amnestied. Oh 1 you cannot have a centennial year 
without that ! No man on this side has ever intimated that 
Jefferson Davis should be refused pardon on account of any 
political crimes; it is too late for that; it is because of a 
personal crime. If you ask that there may be harmonious 
and universal rejoicing over every forgiven man, release all 
your criminals ; set free every man who has been sentenced 
for piracy or for murder by your United States Courts; 
proclaim the jubilee indeed. 

But I am authorized, if the gentleman desires it — not 
authorized especially to mention it here, but I mention it on 
the authority of General Grant, whom the gentleman from 
Georgia impugned in connection with the exchange of 
prisoners — to say that one thing touching the exchange of 
prisoners was that the 


in regard to it ; and General Grant states that the brigade 
of Carter L. Stephenson, that was dislodged at Chattanooga, 
was made up of paroled prisoners from Vicksburg, and 
that Stephenson himself was one of them. He states 
that the paroled prisoners of one day in front of his line 
were taken the next. But in stating this he was careful to 

National Sovereignty. 49 

say that, as to Lee and the two Johnstons and Pemberton, 
and the other leading Confederate generals, their ^Yord was 
honor itself; but that for the Davis executive government 
there was no honor in it — none whatever. The gentleman 
has got enough of General Grant by this time, I hope. 

Now in regard to the relative number of prisoners that 
died in the North and the South respectively, the gentleman 
undertook to show that a great many more prisoners died in 
the hands of the Union authorities than in the hands of the 
rebels. I have had conversations with surgeons of the army 
about that, and they say that there were a large number of 
deaths of rebel prisoners, but that during the latter period of 
the war they came into our hands very much exhausted, ill- 
clad, ill-fed, diseased so that they died in our prisons of 
diseases that they brought with them. And one eminent 
surgeon said, without wishing at all to be quoted in this 
debate, that, the question was not only what was the condi- 
tion of the prisoners Avhen they came to us, but what it was 
when they were sent back. 


they came back wasted and worn — mere skeletons. The 
rebel prisoners, in large numbers, were, when taken, ema- 
ciated and reduced; and General Grant says that at the 
time such superhuman efforts were made for exchange there 
were 90,000 men that would have re-enforced your armies 
the next day, prisoners in our hands who were in good health 
and ready for fight. This consideration sheds a great deal 
of light on what the gentleman states. 

50 Wo7%1s of James Gr. Blame. 

The gentleman from Illinois [Mr. Hurlbut] puts a letter 
into my hands. I read it without really knowing what it 

may show : — 

Confederate States of America, 
War Department, 
Richmond, Virginia, March 21, 1863. 
My Dear Sir : — If the exigencies of our army require the use of 
trains for transportation of corn, pay no regard to the Yankee prisoners. 
I would rather that they sliould starve than our own people suffer. 

I suppose I can safely put in writing : " Let them suffer." The words 
are memorable, and it is fortunate that in this case they can be applied 
properly and without the intervention of a lying quartermaster. 

Very truly your faithful friend, 

Robert Ould. 
Colonel A. C. Myers. 

That is a good piece of literature in this connection. Mr. 
Ould, I believe, was the rebel commissioner to exchange. 
When the gentleman from Georgia next takes the floor I 
want him to state what excuse there was for ordering the 
Florida artillery, in case General Sherman's army got within 
seven miles of Andersonville, to fire on that stockade. 

Why, Mr. Speaker, the administration of Martin Van 
Buren, that went down in a popular convulsion in 1840, had 
no little of obloquy thrown upon it because it had ventured 
to hunt the Seminoles in the swamps of Florida with blood- 
hounds. . . . Bloodthirsty dogs were sent after the hiding 
savages, and the civilization of the nineteenth century and 
the Christian feeling of the American people revolted at 
it. And I state here, and the gentleman from Georgia [Mr. 
Hill] cannot deny it, that upon the testimony of witnesses as 

National Sovereignty, 51 

numerous as would require me all day to read, bloodhounds 
were used ; that large packs of them were kept, and Georgia 
officers commanded them ; that they were sent after the poor 
unfortunate, shrinking men who by any accident could get 
out of that horrible stockade. I state, sir, that the civilization 
of the world stands aghast at what was done at Andersonville. 
And the man who did that was sustained by Jefferson Davis, 
and promoted. Yet the gentleman says that was analogous 
to General Grant sending McDonald to the penitentiary. 

Mr. Speaker, in view of all these facts I have only to say 
that if the American Congress, by a two-thirds vote, shall 
pronounce Jefferson Davis worthy to be restored to the full 
rights of American citizenship, I can only vote against it 
and hang my head in silence, and regret it. [Applause.] 



The perpetuity of our institutions rests upon the maintenance of a free ballot, an 
honest count, and a correct return. We denounce the fraud and violence practised by 
the Democracy in Southern States, by which the will of tlie voter is defeated, as danger- 
ous to the preservation of free institutions, and Ave solemnly arraign the Democratic 
party as being the guilty recipient of the fruits of such fraud and violence. We extend 
to the Republicans of the South, regardless of their former party affiliations, our 
cordial sympathy, and pledge to them our most earnest efforts to promote the passage 
of such legislation as will secure to every citizen of M'hatever race and color the full 
and complete recognition, possession, and exercise of all civil and political rights.— 
Republican Platform, 1884. 


On the second of December, 1878, Mr. Blaine submitted 
the following resolutions to the Senate : — 

Besolved., That the Committee on the Judiciary be instructed to inquire 
and report to the Senate whether at the recent elections the constitu- 
tional rights of American citizens were violated in any of the States of 
the Union; whether the right of suffrage of citizens of the United 
States, or of any class of such citizens, was denied or abridged by the 
action of the election officers of any State in refusing to receive their 
votes, in failing to count them, or in receiving and counting fraudulent 
ballots in pursuance of a conspiracy to make the lawful votes of such 
citizens of none effect ; and whether such citizens were prevented from 
exercising the elective franchise, or forced to use it against their wishes, 
by violence or threats, or hostile demonstrations of armed men or other 
organizations, or by any other unlawful means or practices. 

Besolved., That the Committee on the Judiciary be further instructed to 
inquire and report w^hether it is within the competency of Congress to 
provide by additional legislation for the more perfect seciu-ity of the 

A Free Ballot^ and an Honest Count. 58 

right of suffrage to citizens of the United States in all the States of the 

Besolved., That in prosecuting these inquiries the Judiciary Committee 
shall have the right to send for persons and papers. 

On Wednesday, December 11, he addressed the Senate as 
follows : — 

Mr. Pkesident : The pending resolutions were offered by 
me with a twofold purpose in view : — 

First, to place on record in a definite and authentic form, 


by the Democratic party in the Southern States. Second, 
to find if there be any methods by Avhich a repetition of 
these crimes against a free ballot may be prevented. 

The newspaper is the channel through which the people of 
the United States are informed of current events, and the 
accounts given in the press represent the elections in some 
of the Southern States to have been accompanied by vio- 
lence ; in not a few cases reaching the destruction of life ; to 
have been controlled by threats that awed and intimidated a 
large class of voters ; to have been manipulated by fraud of 
the most shameless and shameful description. Indeed, in 
South Carolina there seems to have been no election at all in 
any proper sense of the term. There was instead a series of 
skirmishes over the State in which the polling-places were 
regarded as forts to be captured by one party and held 
against the other, and where this could not be done with 
convenience, frauds in the count and tissue-ballot devices 

54 Words of James G. Blaine. 

were resorted to in order to effectually destroy the voice of 
the majority. These in brief are the accounts given in the 
non-partisan press, of the disgraceful outrages that attended 
the recent elections, and, so far as I have seen, these state- 
ments are without serious contradiction. It is but just and 
fair to all parties, however, that an impartial investigation of 
the facts shall be made by a committee of the Senate, pro- 
ceeding under the authority of law and representing the 
power of the nation. Hence my resolution. 

But we do not need investigation to establish certain facts 
already of official record. We know that one hundred and 
six Representatives in Congress were recently chosen in the 
States formerly slave-holding and that the Democrats elected 
one hundred and one or possibly one hundred and two and 
the Republicans four or possibty five. We know tliat thirty- 
five of these Representatives were assigned to the Southern 
States by reason of the colored population, and that the 
entire political power thus founded on the numbers of the 
colored people 


to the aggrandizement of its own strength by the Democratic 
party of the South. 

The issue thus raised before the country, Mr. President, is 
not one of mere sentiment for the rights of the negro — 
though far distant be the day when the rights of any Amer- 
ican citizen, however black or however poor, shall form the 
mere dust of the balance in any controversy; nor still 
further is the issue as now presented only a question of the 

A Free Ballot^ and an Honest Comit. 55 

equality of tlie black voter of the South with the white voter 
of the South ; the issue, Mr. President, has taken a far wider 
range, one of portentous magnitude ; and that is, 


in shaping the policy and fixing the destiny of this 
country ; or whether, to put it still more baldly, the 
white man who fought in the ranks of the Union army 
shall have as weighty and influential a vote in the gov- 
ernment of the Republic as the wdiite man who fought in 
the ranks of the rebel army. The one fought to uphold, the 
other to destroy, the Union of the States, and to-day he who 
fought to destroy is a far more important factor in the 
government of the nation than he who fought to uphold it. 
Let me illustrate my meaning by comparing groups of 
States of the same representative strength North and South. 
Take the States of South Carolina, Mississippi, and Louis- 
iana. They send seventeen Representatives to Congress. 
Their aggregate population is composed of ten hundred and 
thirty-five tliousand whites and twelve hundred and twenty- 
four tliousand colored ; the colored behig nearly two hun- 
dred thousand in excess of the whites. Of the seventeen 
Representatives, then, it is evident that nine were apportioned 
to these States by reason of their colored population, and 
only eight by reason of their white population; and yet in the 
choice of the entire seventeen Representatives the colored 
voters had no more voice or power than their remote kindred 
on the shores of Senegambia or on the Gold Coast. The ten 

56 Words of James G-. Blaine. 

liundred and thirty-five thousand white people had the sole and 
absolute choice of the entire seventeen Representatives. In 
contrast, take two States in the North, Iowa, and Wisconsin, 
with seventeen Representatives. They have a white popula- 
tion of two million two hundred and forty-seven thousand 
— considerably more than double the entire population of the 
three Southern States I have named. In Iowa and Wiscon- 
sin, therefore, it takes one hundred and thirty-two thousand 
white population to send a Representative to Congress, but 
in South Carolina, Mississippi, and Louisiana, every sixty 
thousand white people send a Representative. In other 


have precisely the same political power in the government of 
the country that one hundred and thirty-two thousand white 
people have in Iowa and Wisconsin. 

Take another group of seventeen Representatives from the 
South and from the North. Georgia and Alabama have a 
white population of eleven hundred and fifty-eight thousand 
and a colored population of ten hundred and twenty thou- 
sand. They send seventeen Representatives to Congress, of 
whom nine Avere apportioned on account of the white popula- 
tion ■ and eight on account of the colored population. But 
the colored voters are not able to choose a single Represen- 
tative, the white Democrats choosing the whole seventeen. 
The four Northern States, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, 
and California, have seventeen Representatives, based on a 
white population of two and a quarter millions, or almost 

A Free Ballot^ and an Honest Count. 57 

double the white population of Georgia and Alabama, so 
that in these relative groups of States we find the white man 
South exercises by his vote 


Let us carry the comparison to a more comprehensive 
generalization. The eleven States that formed the confed- 
erate government had by the last census a population of 
nine and a half millions, of which in round numbers. five 
and a half millions were white and four millions colored. 
On this aggregate population seventy-three Representatives 
in Congress were appointed to those States — forty-two or 
three of whom were by reason of the white population, and 
thirty or thirty-one l^y reason of the colored population. At 
the recent election the white Democracy at the South seized 
seventy of the seventy-three districts, and thus secured a 
Democratic majority in the next House of Representatives. 
Tlius it appears that throughout the States that formed the 
late confederate government sixty-five thousand whites — 
the very people that rebelled against the Union — are 
enabled to elect a Representative in Congress, while in the 
loyal States it requires one hundred and thirty-two thousand 
of the white people that fought for the Union to elect a Rep- 
resentative. In levying every tax, therefore, in making every 
appropriation of money, in fixing every line of public policy, 
in decreeing what shall be the fate and fortune of the 
Republic, the 


is enabled to cast a vote tliat is twice as powerful and twice 
as influential as the vote of the Union soldier North. 

58 Wo7'ds of James Cr. Blame. 

But the white men of the South did not acquire and do 
not hold this superior power of reason by hiw or justice, but 
in disregard and defiance of both. The fourteenth amend- 
ment to the Constitution was expected to be and was 
designed to be a preventive and corrective of all such 
possible abuses. The reading of the clause applicable to the 
case is instructive and suggestive. Hear it : — 

" Representatives shall be apportioned among the several 
States according to their respective numbers, counting the 
whole number of persons in each State, excluding Indians 
not taxed. But when the right to vote at any election for 
the choice of electors for President and Vice-President of 
the United States, Representatives in Congress, the executive 
and judicial officers of a State, or the members of the 
Legislature thereof, is denied to any of the male inhabitants 
of such State, being twenty-one years of age, and citizens of 
the United States, or in any way abridged, except for 
participation in rebellion, or. other crime, the basis of repre- 
sentation therein shall be reduced in the proportion which 
the number of such male citizens shall bear to the whole 
number of male citizens twenty-one years of age in such 

The patent, undeniable intent of this provision was that if 
any class of voters were denied or in any way abridged in their 
right of suffrage, then the class so denied or abridged should not 
be counted in the basis of representation ; or, in other words, 


a large increase of representation in Congress by reason of 
counting any class of population not permitted to take part 

A Free Ballot^ and an Honest Count. 59 

in electing such Representatives. But the construction 
given to this provision is, that before any forfeiture of rep- 
resentation can be enforced the denial or abridgment of 
suffrage must be the result of a law specifically enacted 
by the State. Under this construction every negro voter 
may have his suffrage absolutely denied or fatally abridged 
by the violence, actual or threatened, of irresponsible mobs, 
or by frauds and deceptions of State officers from the gov- 
ernor down to the last election clerk, and then, unless some 
State law can be shown that authorizes the denial or abridg- 
ment, the State escapes all penalty or peril of reduced repre- 
sentation. This construction may be upheld by the courts, 
ruling on the letter of the law, "which killeth," but tlie 
spirit of justice cries aloud against tlie evasive and atrocious 
conclusion that deals out oppression to the innocent and 
shields the guilty from the legitimate consequences of wilful 

The colored citizen is thus most unhappily situated; his 
right of suffrage is but a hollow mockery ; it holds to his ear 
the word of promise, but breaks it always to his hope, and 
he ends only in being made the unwilling instrument of 
increasing the political strength of that party from which he 
received ever-tightening fetters when he was a slave and 
contemptuous refusal of civil rights since he was made free. 
He resembles, indeed, those unhappy captives in the East, 
who, deprived of their birthright, are compelled to yield 
their strength to the upbuilding of the monarch from w^hose 
tyrannies they have most to fear, and to fight against the 
power from which alone deliverance might be expected. 
The franchise intended for the 

60 Words of James Gr. Blaine. 


has been turned against him and against his friends and 
has vastly increased the power of those from whom he has 
nothing to hope and everything to dread. 

The political power thus appropriated by Southern Demo- 
crats by reason of the negro population amounts to thirty-five 
Representatives in Congress. It is massed almost solidly 
and offsets the great State of New York ; or Pennsylvania 
and New Jersey together ; or the whole of New England ; or 
Ohio and Indiana united ; or the combined strength of Illi- 
nois, Minnesota, Kansas, California, Nevada, Nebraska, Colo- 
rado, and Oregon. The seizure of this power is wanton 
usurpation ; it is flagrant outrage ; it is violent perversion of 
the whole theory of republican government. It insures 
solely to the present advantage and yet, I believe, to the per- 
manent dishonor of the Democratic party. It is by reason of 
this trampling down of human rights, this ruthless seizure of 
unlawful power that the Democratic party holds the popular 
branch of Congress to-day and will in less than ninety days 
have control of this body also, thus grasping the entire legis- 
lative department of the government through the unlawful 
capture of the Southern States. If the prescribed vote of 
the South were cast as its lawful owners desire, the Demo- 
cratic party could not gain power. Nay, if it were not 
counted on the other side against the instincts and the inter- 
ests, against the principles and the prejudices, of its lawful 
owners. Democratic success would be hopeless. It is not 
enough, then, for modern Democratic tactics that the negro 
vote shall be silenced ; the demand goes farther and insists 

A Free Ballot^ and an Honest CounK 61 

tliat it shall be counted on their side, that all the Represen- 
tatives in Congress and all the Presidential electors appor- 
tioned by reason of the negro vote, shall be so cast and so 
governed as to insure Democratic success — regardless of jus- 
tice, in defiance of law. 


I doubt if it be in the power of the most searching inves- 
tigation to show that in any Southern State during the period 
of Republican control any legal voter was ever debarred 
from the freest exercise of his suffrage. Even the revenges 
which would have leaped into life with many who despise 
the negro were buried out of sight with a magnanimity 
which the "superior race" fail to follow and seem reluctant 
to recognize. I know it is said in retort of such charges 
against the Southern elections as I am now reviewing that 
unfairness of equal gravity prevails in Northern elections. 
I hear it in many quarters and read it in the papers that in 
the late exciting election in Massachusetts intimidation and 
bulldozing, if not so rough and rancorous as in the South, 
were yet as wide-spread and effective. 

I have read, and yet I refuse to believe, that the distin- 
guished gentleman who made an energetic but unsuccessful 
canvass for the governorship of that State, has indorsed and 
approved these charges, and I have accordingly made my 
resolution broad enouo^h to include their thoroup'h investisra- 
tion. I am not demanding fair elections in the South with- 
out demanding fair elections in the North also. But 
venturing to speak for the New England States, of whose 

62 Words of James Gr, Blaine. 

laws and customs I know something, I dare assert that in the 
late election in Massachusetts, or any of her neighboring 
Commonwealths, it will be impossible to find even one case 
where a voter was driven from the polls, where a voter did 
not have the fullest, fairest, freest ojD^^ortunity to cast the 
ballot of his choice and have it honestly and faithfully 
counted in the returns. Suffrage on this continent w^as first 
made universal in New England, and in the administration 
of their affairs her people have found no other appeal neces- 
sary than that which is addressed to their honesty of con- 
viction and to their intelligent self-interest. If there be 
anytliing different to disclose I pray you show it to us that 
we may amend our ways. 
But whenever 


against such injustice as I have described in the South the 
response Ave get comes to us in the form of a taunt, " What 
are you going to do about it ? " and " How do you propose to 
help yourselves? " This is the stereotyped answer of defiance 
which intrenched wrong always gives to inquiring justice ; 
and those who imagine it to be conclusive do not know the 
temper of the American people. For let me assure you 
that against the complicated outrage upon the right of 
representation lately triumphant in the South there will be 
arrayed many phases of public opinion in the North not 
often hitherto in harmony. Men who have cared little, and 
affected to care less, for the rights or the wrongs of the 
negro suddenly find that vast monetary and commercial 

A Free Ballot^ and an Honest Count. 63 

interests, great questions of revenue, adjustments of tariff, 
vast investments in manufactures, in railways, and in mines, 
are under the control of a Democratic Congress whose 
majority was obtained by depriving the negro of his rights 
under a common constitution and common laws. Men who 
have been offended with talk about negro equality are begin- 
ning to perceive that the pending question of to-day relates 
more pressingly to the equality of white men under this 
government, and that however careless they may be about 
the rights or the wrongs of the negro they are very jealous 
and tenacious about the rights of their own race and the 
dignity of their own firesides and their own kindred. 

I know something of public opinion in the North. I know 
a great deal about the views, wishes, and purposes of the 
Republican party of the nation. Within that entire great 
organization there is not one man, whose opinion is entitled 
to be quoted, that does not desire peace and harmony and 
friendship and a patriotic and fraternal union between the 
North, and the South. This wish is spontaneous, instinctive, 
universal throughout the Northern States ; and yet, among 
men of character and sense, there is surely no ■ need of 
attempting to deceive ourselves as to the precise truth. 
First pure, then peaceable. Gush will not remove a griev- 


will close the eyes of our people to the necessity of cor- 
recting a great national wrong. 

Nor should the South make the fatal mistake of con- 
cluding that injustice to the negro is not also injustice to 

64 Words of James G-. Blame, 

the white man ; nor should it ever be forgotten that for the 
wrongs of both a remedy will assuredly be found. The war, 
with all its costly sacrifices, was fought in vain unless equal 
riohts for all classes be established in all the States of the 
Union ; and now, in words which are those of friendship, 
however differently they ma}^ be accepted, I tell tlie men of 
the South here on this floor and beyond this chamber, that 
even if they could strip the negro of his constitutional rights 
they can never permanently maintain the inequality of white 
men in this nation ; they can never make a white man's vote 
in the South double as powerful in the administration of the 
government as a white man's vote in the North. 

In a memorable debate in the House of Commons, Mr. 
Macaulay reminded Daniel O'Connell, when he was moving 
for repeal, that the English Whigs had endured calumny, 
abuse, popular fury, loss of position, exclusion from Parlia- 
ment, rather than the great agitator himself should be less 
than a British subject ; and Mr. Macaulay warned liim that 
they would never suffer him to be more. Let me now 
remind you that the government nnder whose protecting 
Hag we sit to-day sacrificed myriads of lives and expended 
thousands of millions of treasure that our countrymen of the 
South should remain citizens of the United States, having 
equal personal rights and equal political privileges with all 
other citizens. And I venture, now and here, to warn the 
men of the South, in the exact, words of Macaulay, that we 
will never suffer them to be more ! 

A Free Ballot^ and an Honest Count, Q^ 



[Speech in the Senate, Monday, April 14, 1879.] 

Mr. President: The existing section of the Revised 
Statutes numbered 2002 reads thus : — 

" No military or naval officer, or other person engaged in 
the civil, military, or naval service of the United States, 
shall order, bring, keep, or have under his authority or con- 
trol, any troops or armed men at the place where any general 
or special election is held in any State, unless it be necessary 
to repel the armed enemies of the United States, or to Jceep 
the peace at the polish 

The object of the proposed section, which has just been 
read at the clerk's desk, is to get rid of the eight closing 
words, namely, " or 


and therefore the mode of legislation proposed in the army 
bill now before the Senate is an unusual mode ; it is an 
extraordinary mode. If you want to take off a single sen- 
tence at the end of a section in the Revised Statutes the 
ordinary way is to strike off' tliose words, but the mode 
chosen in this bill is to repeal and re-enact the whole section 
leaving those few words out. While I do not wish to be 
needlessly suspicious on a small point, I am quite persuaded 
that this did not happen by accident but that it came by 
design. If I may so speak it came of cunning, the intent 
being to create the impression that whereas the Republicans 

66 Words of James G. Blaine. 

in the administration of the general government had been 
using troops right and left, hither and thither, in every 
direction, as soon as the Democrats got power they enacted 
this section. I can imagine Democratic candidates for 
Congress all over the country reading this section to gaping 
and listening audiences as one of the first offsprings of 
Democratic reform, whereas every word of it, every syllable 
of it, from its first to its last, is the enactment of a 
Republican Congress. 

I repeat that this unusual form 


whether so intended or not. It presents the issue that as 
soon as the Democrats got possession of the Federal govern- 
ment they proceeded to enact the clause which is thus 
expressed. The law was passed by a Republican Congress 
in 1865. There were forty-six Senators sitting in this 
chamber at the time, of whom only ten or at most eleven 
were Democrats. Tlie House of Representatives was over- 
Avhelmingiy Republican. We were in the midst of a war. 
The Republican administration had a million or possibly 
twelve hundred thousand bayonets at its command. Thus 
circumstanced and thus surrounded, with the amplest pos- 
sible poAver to interfere with elections had they so designed, 
with soldiers in every hamlet and county of the United 
States, the Republican party themselves placed that provision 
on the statute-book, and Abraham Lincoln, their President, 
signed it. 

I beg you to observe, Mr. President, that this is the first 

A Free Ballot^ and an Honest Coimt. 67 

instance in the legislation of the United States in which 
any restrictive clause wliatever is put upon the statute-book 
in regard to the use of troops at the polls. The Republican 
party did it with the Senate and the House in their control. 
Abraham Lincoln signed it when he was commander-in-chief 
of aii army larger than ever Napoleon Bonaparte had at his 
command. So much by way of correcting an ingenious and 
studied attempt at misrepresentation. 

The alleged object is to strike out the few words that 
authorize the use of troops to keep peace at the polls. 


I rather think indeed amused, at the great effort made to 
create a widespread impression that the Republican party 
relies for its popular strength upon the use of the bayonet. 
This Democratic Congress has attempted to give a bad name 
to this country throughout the civilized world, and to give it 
on a false issue. They have raised an issue that has no 
foundation in fact — that is false in whole and detail, false 
in the charge, false in all the specifications. That impression 
sought to be created, as I say, not only throughout the North 
American continent but in Europe to-day, is that elections 
are attempted in this country to be controlled by the 


I am not at liberty to say that any gentleman making the 
issue knows it to be false ; I hope he does not ; but I am 
going to prove to him that it is false, and that there is not 
a solitary inch of solid earth on which to rest the foot of 

68 Words of James G, Blaine. 

any man that makes that issue. I have in my hand an 
official transcript of the location and the number of all the 
troops of the United States east of Omaha. By "east of 
OmaluV I mean all the United States east of the Mississippi 
River and the belt of States that borders the Mississippi 
River on the west, including forty-one millions at least out 
of the forty-five millions of people that this country is sup- 
posed to contain to-day. In that magnificent area, I will 
not pretend to state its extent, but with forty-one million 
people, how many troops of the United States are there to- 
day ? Would any Senator on the opposite side like to guess, 
or would he like to state, how many men with muskets in 
their hands there are in the vast area I have named ? There 
are 2,797 ! And not one more. 

From the headwaters of the Mississippi River, to the lakes 
and down the great chain of lakes, and down the Saint Law- 
rence and down the valley of the Saint John and down the 
Saint Croix striking the Atlantic Ocean and following it 
down to Key West, around the Gulf up to the mouth of the 
IMississippi again, a frontier of eight thousand miles either 
bordering on the ocean or upon foreign territory is guarded 
by these troops. Within this domain forty-five fortifications 
are manned and eleven arsenals protected. There are sixty 
troops to every million of people. In the South I have the 
entire number in each State and will give it. 

I believe the Senator from Delaware is alarmed, greatly 
alarmed, about the overriding of the popular ballot by troops 
of the United States ! In Delaware there is not a single 
armed man — not one. The United States has not even one 
soldier in the State. 

A Free Ballot^ and an Honest Count. 60 

The honorable Senator from West Virginia [Mr. Here- 
ford] on Friday last lashed himself into a passion, or at 
least into a perspiration, over the wrongs of his State, trod- 
den down by the iron heel of military despotism. There is 
not a solitary man of the United States army on the soil 
of West Virginia, and there has not been for years. 

In Maryland. I do not know whether my esteemed friend 
from Maryland [Mr. Whyte] has been greatly alarmed or 
not; but at Fort McHenry, guarding the entrance to the 
beautiful harbor of his beautiful city, there are one hundred 
and ninety-two artillerymen located. 

In Virginia there is a school of practice at Fortress Mon- 
roe. My honorable friend who has charge of this bill [Mr. 
Withers] knows very well, and if he does not I will tell 
him, that outside of that school of practice at Fortress Mon- 
roe, which has two hundred and eighty-two men in it, there 
is not a Federal soldier on the soil of Virginia — not one. 

North Carolina. Are the Senators from that State alarmed 
at the immediate and terrible prospect of being overrun by 
the army of the United States ? On the whole soil of 
North Carolina there are but thirty soldiers guarding a fort 
at the mouth of Cape Fear River — just thirty. 

South Carolina. I do not see a Senator on the floor from 
that State. There are oiie hundred and twenty artillerymen 
guarding the approaches to Charleston Harbor, and not 
another soldier on her soil. 

Georgia. Does my gallant friend from Georgia [Mr. Gor- 
don] who knows better than I the force and strength of mili- 
tary organization, the senior Senator and the junior also — 

70 Words of James G-. Blaine. 

are both or either of those Senators alarmed at the presence 
of twenty-nine soldiers in Georgia ? There are just twenty- 
nine there. 

Florida has one hundred and eighty-two at three separate 
posts, principally guarding the navy-yard near which my 
friend on the opposite side [Mr. Jones] lives. 

Tennessee-. Is the honorable Senator from Tennessee [Mr. 
Bailey] alarmed at the progress of military despotism in his 
State. There is not a single Federal soldier on the soil of 
Tennessee — not one. 

Kentucky. I see both the honorable Senators from Ken- 
tucky here. They have equal cause with Tennessee to be 
alarmed for there is not a Federal soldier in Kentucky — not 
one ! 

Missouri. Not one. 

Arkansas. Fifty-seven in Arkansas. 

Alabama. I think my friend from Alabama [Mr. Morgan] 
is greatly excited over this question, and in his State there 
are thirty-two Federal soldiers, located at an arsenal of the 
United States. 

Mississippi. The great State of Mississippi, that is in 
danger of being trodden under the iron hoof of military 
power, has not a Federal soldier on its soil. 

Louisiana has two hundred and thirty-nine. 

Texas, apart from the regiments that guard the frontier on 
the Rio Grande and the Indian frontier, has not one. 

And the entire South has eleven hundred and fifty-five 
soldiers to intimidate, overrun, oppress, and destroy the lib- 
erties of fifteen million people ! In the Southern States there 

A Free Ballot^ and an Honest Count, 71 

are twelve hundred and three counties. If you distribute 
the soldiers there is not quite one for each county; and 
when I give the counties I give them from the census of 
1870. If you distribute them territorially there is one for 
every seven hundred square miles of territory, so that if you 
make a territorial distribution, I would remind the honorable 
Senator from Delaware, if I saw him in his seat, that the 
quota for his State would be three — "one ragged sergeant 
and two abreast," as the old song has it. [Laughter.] That 
is the force ready to destroy the liberties of Delaware ! 

Mr. President, it was said, as the old maxim has it, that 
the soothsayers of Rome 


There are' not two Democratic Senators on this floor who 
can go into the cloak - room and look each other in 
the face without smiling at this talk, or, more appro- 
priately, I should say without blushing — the whole thing 
is such a prodigious and absolute farce, such a miser- 
ably manufactured false issue, such a pretense w^ithout the 
slightest foundation in the world, and talked about most and 
denounced the loudest in States that have not and have not 
had a single Federal soldier. Throughout the South it does 
not run quite seventy to the million people. In New England 
we have absolutely one hundred and twenty soldiers to the 
million. New England is far more overrun to-day by the 
Federal soldier, immensely more, than the whole South is. I 
never heard anybody complain about it in New England, or 
express any very great fear of their liberties being endangered 
by the presence of a handful of troops. 

72 Words of James G. Blaine. 

As I have said, the tendency of this talk is to give us a 
bad name in Europe. Republican institutions are looked 
ujDon there with jealous}^ Every misrepresentation, every 
slander is taken up and exaggerated and talked about to our 
discredit, and the Democratic party of the country to-day 
stand indicted, and I here indict them, for public slander of 
their country creating the impression in the civilized world 
that we are governed by a ruthless military despotism. I 
wonder how amazing it would be to any man in Europe, 
familiar as Europeans are with great armies, if he were told 
tliat over a territory larger than France and Spain and 
Portugal and Great Britain and Holland and Belgium and 
the German Empire all combined, there were but eleven 
hundred and fifty-five soldiers ! That is all this Democratic 
howl, this mad cry, this false issue, this absurd talk is based 
on — the presence of eleven hundred and fifty-five soldiers 
on eight hundred and fifty thousand square miles of terri- 
tory, not double the number of Democratic police in the city 
of Baltimore, not a third of the police in the city of New 
York, not double the Democratic police in the city of New 
Orleans. I repeat, the number indicts them ; it stamps the 
whole cry as without any foundation ; it derides the issue as 
a false and scandalous and partisan makeshift. 

What then is the real motive underlying this movement? 
Senators on that side, Democratic orators on the stump, 
cannot make any sensible set of men at the cross-roads 
believe that they are afraid of eleven liundred and fifty-five 
soldiers distributed one to each county in the South. The 
minute you state that everybody sees the utter, palpable, and 

A Free Ballot, and an Honest Count. 73 

laughable absurdity of it, and therefore we must go further 
and find a motive for all this cry. We want to find out, to 
use a familiar and vulgar phrase, what is " the cat under the 
meal.'' It is not the troops. That is evident. There are 
more troops by fifty per cent, scattered through the 
Northern States east of the Mississippi to-day than through 
the Southern States east of the Mississippi, and yet nobody 
in the North speaks of it ; everybody would be laughed at 
for speaking of it ; and therefore the issue, I take no risk in 
stating, I make bold to declare, that this issue on the troops, 
being a false one, being one without foundation, conceals 
the true issue, which is simply to get rid of the Federal 
presence at Federal elections, to get rid of the civil 
power of the United States in the election of Representatives 
to the Congress of the United States. That is the whole of 
it ; and disguise it as you may there is nothing else in it or 
of it. 

You sim23ly want to get rid of the supervision by the 
Federal government of the election of Representatives to 
Congress through civil means ; and, therefore, this bill 
connects itself directly with another bill, and you cannot 
discuss this military bill without discussing a bill which we 
had before us last winter, know as the legislative, executive 
and judicial appropriation bill. I am quite well aware, I 
profess to be as well aware as any one, that it is not permis- 
sible for me to discuss a bill that is pending before the other 
House. I am quite well aware that propriety and parlia- 
mentary rule forbid that I should speak of Avhat is done in 
the House of Representatives ; but I know very well that I 

74 Wo7xis of James Cr. Blaine. 

am not forbidden to speak of that Avhicli is not done in the 
House of Representatives. I ain quite free to speak of the 
things that are not done there, and tlierefore I am free to 
dechire that neither this military bill nor the legislative, 
executive, and judicial appropriation bill ever emanated from 
any committee of the House of Representatives, at all ; they 
are not the work of any committee of the House of Repre- 
sentatives and, although the present House of Representa- 
tives is almost evenly balanced in party division, there has 
been allowed no solitarj^ suggestion to come from the minority 
of that House in regard to the shaping of these bills. Where 
do they come from ? We are not left to infer ; we are not 
even left to the Yankee privilege of guessing, because we 
know. The Senator from Kentucky [Mr. Beck] obligingly 
told us — I have his exact Av^ords here — "that the honor- 
able Senator from Ohio [Mr. Thurman] was the chairman of 
a committee appointed by the Democratic party to see how it 
Avas best to present all these questions before us." Therefore 
Avhen T discuss these two bills together I am violating no 
parliamentary hiAV ; I am discussing the offspring and the 
creation of the Democratic caucus, of Avhich the Senator 
from Ohio, Avhom I do not see in his seat, is the chairman. 

There are thirteen thousand polling-places in the South, 
and there are eleven hundred and fifty-five soldiers down 
there, and this great intimi(hition is to be carried on by 
one soldier distributing himself around to twelve polling- 

A Free Ballot^ and an Honest Count. 75 


that tlireutcns the South just now; and I am just rem indcd 
by the honorable Senator from Wisconsin [Mr. Carpenter] 
that the Supreme Court decided — a fact 1 did not recall 
at the moment — that the war did not close till April, 18GG ; 
a state of peace liad not come, and tliorcfore tlie honorable 
Senator from Kentucky does not bring himscU' within tlie 
line of evidence. He only saw troops there in ISOf), during 
tlie war. Has he seen them since April, 18GG, in time 
of peace ? . . . 

All we get, llien, in the testimony is, tliat the Senator 
from Kentucky 


in his State during tlie war, and the Senator from West Vir- 
ginia says he saw them in his State once since the war — ten 
years ago. That is the amount of actual testimony we get on 
the subject. Now, Mr. President, I say this bill connects itself 
directly with the provisions which are inserted by the Demo- 
cratic caucus in the legislative, executive, and judicial bill. 
The two stand together : they cannot be separated; because 
if to-day Ave enact that no civil ofiicer whatever shall appear 
under any circumstances with ainicd men at the polls — 1 
am not speaking of Federal troops or military or naval 
officers — I should like to know how if you strike that out 
to-day ill the military bill that is pending, you are going to 
enforce any provisions of the election laws, even if we leave 
them standing. Take this section of the election law, 
section 2024 of the Revised Statutes: 

" The marshal or his general deputies, or such special 

76 Words of James Cf. Blaine. 

deputies as are thereto specially empowered by him, in 
writing, and under his hand and seal, whenever he or either 
or any of them is forcibly resisted in executing their duties 
under this title, or shall, by violence, threats, or menaces, 
be prevented from executing such duties, or from arresting 
any person who has committed any offence for wliich the 
marshal or his general or his special deputies are authorized 
to make such arrest, are, and each of them is, empoAvered to 
summon and call to his aid the bystanders or posse eomitatus 
of his district." 

I should like any one to tell me whether a marshal can call 
together armed men under that if you repeal this section in 
the military bill. Under heavy penalties you say that no 
civil officer whatever, no matter what the disturbances, at an 
election of Representatives to Congress — 


You do not say that in that same election the State officer 
may not be there with all the force he chooses, legal or illegal. 
You say that the United States, in an election which specially 
concerns the Federal government, shall not have anything 
whatever to do with it. That is what you say, although the 
Constitution, as broadly as language can express it, gives the 
government of the United States, if it chooses to exercise 
it, the absolute control of the whole subject — familiar to 
scliool-bo3^s who have never once read the Constitution, in 
the clause : " The times, places, and manner of holding 
elections for Senators and Representatives shall be pre- 
scribed in each State by the Legislature thereof; but the 

A Free Ballot, and an Honest Count. 77 

Congress may at any time, by law, make or alter such regu- 
lations, except as to the places of choosing Senators." And 
every one knows that the contemporaneous exposition of that 
part of the Constitution, familiar also to every one in the 
country, the exposition by Madison and Hamilton, was to the 
effect that " every government ought to contain in itself the 
means of its own preservation " ; and according to Mr. Madi- 
son, quoting a Southern authority, it was " more conso- 
nant to just theories to intrust the Union with the care of 
its own existence than to transfer that care to any other 

There is not the slightest possible denial here that 


If there is such a denial it is a mere individual opinion. 
There has been no adjudication in the least degree look- 
ing to the unconstitutionality of these laws. Your indi- 
vidual opinion is no better than mine ; mine is no better 
than that of any other man who can hear a horn blown 
from the front steps of the Capitol. No individual 
opinion is worth anything. We have a department of 
the government to pass upon the question. The legisla- 
tive department has enacted these laws under what it 
believed to be a clear and explicit grant of power, and you 
have never had it judicially determined otlierwise. But now 
you propose to assault the election laws, the supervisors, and 
the marshals, in this militar}" bill ; and under the pretence of 
getting rid of troops at tlie polls you propose that no Federal 
officer — no civil officer of the Federal government — shall be 

78 Words of James G. Blaine. 

there. That is the design ; that is the phain, palpable object. 
An amendment that will be offered here will test yonr sin- 
cerity on that subject ; whether you will allow the Federal 
government to be i)resent at all. I believe you do propose 
to allow two men of straw to stand up without any power; 
to be present as witnesses ; to be counted themselves but not 
to count, as my friend from Massachusetts [Mr. Hoar] well 
suggests ; with no power whatever , mere spectators on suf- 
ferance, not to be liustled out nor kicked nor clubbed if they 
behave themselves, but entirely at the mercy of the mob ; 
guests standing there by the courtesy of the State, not standing 
there armed with the panoply of the Federal government and 
commanding in its great name an observance of law and of 
justice. You propose simply to permit, and permit is the word, 
two officers to be designated by Federal authority to be pre- 
sent, that is all; not to have one particle of power, not to be 
clothed with a solitary attribute of authority, not to have 
any force, not to have any legal status beyond that of casual 
spectators ; and, therefore, I say that you cannot debate this 
question without associating these two bills together. The 
one runs right into the otlier ; and I go so far as to say that 
if the military bill should go through in its present form and 
Ijecome the law of the land, the remainder of this law on 
election day is not worth anything at all. The whole law of 
marshals and supervisors is worth nothing unless the civil 
authority of the United States has the power there to enforce 
its edicts. 

We are told, too, rather a novel thing, that if we do not 
take these laws, we are 

A Free Ballot^ and an Honest Count. 79 


I believe it has been announced in both branches of Congress, 
I suppose on the authority of the Democratic caucus, that if 
we do not take these bills as they are planned, we shall not 
have any of the appropriations that go with them. The 
honorable Senator from West Virginia [Mr. Hereford] told 
it to us on Friday , the honorable Senator from Ohio [Mr. 
Thurman] told it to us last session j the honorable Senator 
from Kentucky [Mr. Beck] told it to us at the same time, 
and I am not permitted to speak of the legions who told us 
so in the other House. They say all these appropriations 
are to be refused — not merely the army appropriation, for 
they do not stop at that. Look for a moment at the legisla- 
tive bill that came from the Democratic caucus. Here is an 
appropriation in it for defraying the expenses of the Supreme 
Court and the circuit and district courts of the United States, 
including the District of Columbia, etc., "12,800,000 " : "Pro- 
vided" — what? "That the folloAving sections of the Re- 
vised Statutes relating to elections " (going on to recite them) 
"be repealed." 

That is, you will pass an appropriation for the support of 
the judiciary of the United States, only on condition of this 
repeal. We often speak of this government being divided 
between three great departments, the executive, the legisla- 
tive, and the judicial — co-ordinate, independent, equal. 
The legislative, under the control of a Democratic caucus, 
now steps forward and says : " We offer to the Executive this 
bill, and if he does not sign it, we are going to starve the 
judiciary." That is carrying the thing a little further than I 

80 Words of James Gr. Blaine. 

have ever known. We do not merely propose to starve the 
Executive if he does not sign the bill, but we propose to 
starve the judiciary that has had nothing Avliatever to do 
with the question. That has been boldly avowed on this 
floor ; that has been boldly avowed in the other House ; that 
has been boldly avowed in Democratic papers throughout 
the country. 

And you propose not merely 


but you propose that you will not appropriate a solitary dollar 
to take care of this Capitol. The men who take care of this 
great amount of public property are provided for in that bill. 
You say they shall not have any pay if the President will 
not agree to cliange the election laws. There is the public 
printing that goes on for the enlightenment of the whole 
country and for printing the public documents of every one 
of the departments. You say they shall not have a dollar 
for public printing unless the President agrees to repeal 
these laws. 

There is the Congressional Library that has become the 
pride of the whole American people for its magnificent 
growth and extent. You say it shall not have one dollar to 
take care of it, much less add a new book, unless the Presi- 
dent signs these bills. There is the Department of State that 
we think throughout the history of the government has been 
a great pride to this country for the ability with wlrich it 
has conducted our foreign affairs ; it is also to be starved. 
You say we shall not have any intercourse with foreign 

A Free Ballot, and a7i Honest Coimt. 81 

nations, not a dollar shall be appropriated therefore unless 
the President signs these bills. There is the Light-House 
Board that provides for the beacons and the warnings on 
seventeen thousand miles of sea and gulf and lake coast. 
You say those lights shall all go out and not a dollar shall be 
appropriated for the board if the President does not sign 
these bills. There are the mints of the United States at 
Philadelphia, New Orleans, Denver, San Francisco, coining 
silver and coining gold — not a dollar shall be appropriated 
for them if the President does not sign these bills. There is 
the Patent Office, the patents issued from which embody the 
invention of the country — not a dollar for them. The Pen- 
sion Bureau shall cease its operations unless these bills are 
signed, and patriotic soldiers may starve. The Agricultural 
Bureau, the Post-Office Department, every one of these great 
executive functions of the government is threatened, taken 
by the throat, highwayman-style, collared on the highway, 
commanded to stand and deliver in the name of the Demo- 
cratic congressional caucus. That is wliat it is ; simply that. 
No committee of this Congress in either branch has ever 
recommended that legislation — not one. Simply a Demo- 
cratic caucus has done it. 

Of course this is new. We are learning something every 
day. I think you may search the records of the Federal 
government in vain : it will take some one much more indus- 
trious in that search than I have ever been, and much more 
observant than I have ever been : to hnd any possible parallel 
or any possible suggestion in our past history of any such 
thing. Most of the Senators who sit in this chamber can 
remember some vetoes by Presidents 

82 Words of James Gr. Blaine. 


with excitement. The veto of the national - bank bill 
by Jackson in 1832, remembered by the oldest in this 
chamber ; the veto of the national-bank bill in 1841 by Tyler, 
remembered b}^ those not the oldest, shook this country with 
a political excitement which up to that time had scarcely a 
parallel ; and it was believed, whether rightfully or wrong- 
fully is no matter, it was believed by those who advocated 
those financial measures at the time, that they were of the 
very last importance to wellbeing and prosperity of the 
Union. That was believed by the great and shining lights 
of that day. It was believed by that man of imperial charac- 
ter and imperious will, the great Senator from Kentucky. 
It was believed by Mr. Webster, the greatest of New Eng- 
land Senators. When Jackson vetoed the one or Tyler 
vetoed the other, did you ever hear a suggestion that those 
bank charters should be put on appropriation bills or that 
there should not be a dollar to run the government until 
they were signed ? So far from it that, in 1841, Avhen tem- 
per was at its lieight ; when the Whig party, in addition to 
losing their great measure, lost it under the sting and the 
irritation of what they believed was a desertion by the Presi- 
dent whom they had chosen ; and wlien Mr. Clay, goaded by 
all these considerations, rose to debate the question in the 
Senate, he repelled the suggestion of William C. Rives, of 
Virginia, who attempted to make upon him the point that he 
had indulged in some threat involving the independence of 
the Executive. Mr. Clay rose to 'his full height and thus 
responded ; — - 

A Free Ballot^ and an Honest Coimt. 83 

" I said nothing whatever of any obligation on the part of 
the President to conform his judgment to the opinions of the 
Senate and the House of Representatives, although the Sena- 
tor, argued as if I had, and persevered in so arguing after 
repeated correction. I said no such thing. I know and I 
respect the perfect independence of each department, acting 
within its proper sphere, of the other departments." 

A leading Democrat, an eloquent man, a man who has 
courage and frankness and many good qualities, has boasted 
publicly that the Democracy are in power for the first time in 
eighteen j^ears, and they do not intend to stop until they 


of every war measure. Well, "forewarned in forearmed," 
and you begin appropriately on a measure tliat has the 
signature of Abraham Lincoln. I think the picture is 
a striking one when you hear these words from a man 
who was then in arms against the government of the 
United States, doing his best to destroy it, exerting every 
power given him in a bloody and terrible rebellion against 
the authority of the United States and when Abraham 
Lincoln was marching at the same time to his martyrdom 
in its defence! Strange times have fallen upon us that 
those of us who had the great honor to be associated, in 
higher or lower degree with Mr. Lincoln in the administra- 
tion of the government should live to hear men in j^ublic life 
and on the floors of Congress, fresh from the battle-fields of 
the rebellion, threatening the people of the United States 
that the Democratic party, in power for the first time in 

84 Wo?\ls of James G. Blaine. . 

eighteen years, proposes not to stay its hand until every ves- 
tige of the war measures has been wiped out ! The hxte 
vice-president of the confederacy boasted — perhaps I liad 
better say stated — that for sixty out of the seventy-two years 
preceding the outbreak of the rebellion, 4'rom the foundation 
of the government, the South, though in a minority, had, by 
combining with wliat lie termed the anti-centralists in the 
North, ruled the country ; and in 1866 the same gentleman 
indicated in a speech, I think before the Legislature of 
Georgia, that by a return to Congress the South might 
repeat the experiment Avith the same successful result. I 
read that speech at the time ; but I little thought I should 
live to see so near a fulfilment of its prediction. I see here 
to-day two great measures emanating, as I have said, not 
from a committee of either House, but from a Democratic 
caucus in which the South has an overwhelming majority, 
two thirds in the House, and out of forty-two Senators on 
the other side of this cliamber professing the Democratic 
faith thirty are from the South — twenty-three, a positive 
and pronounced majorit}', having themselves been participants 
in the war against the Union either in military or civil sta- 
tion. So that as a matter of fact, plainl}" deducible from 
counting your fingers, the legislation of this country to-day, 
shaped and fashioned in a Democratic caucus where the con- 
federates of the South hold the majority, is the realization of 
Mr. S tephens's prophecy. And very appropriately the House 
under that control and the Senate under that control em- 
bodying thus the entire legislative powers of the govern-, 
ment, deriving its political strength from the South, elected 

A Free Ballot, and an Honest Count. 85 

from the South, say to the President of the United States, at 
the head of the executive department of the government, 
elected as he Avas from the North — elected by the whole 
people, but elected as a Northern man ; elected on Republican 
principles, elected in opposition to the party that controls 
botli branches of Congress to-day — they naturally say: 
" You shall not exercise your constitutional power to veto 
a bill." 

Some gentleman may rise and say : " Do you 


to put an amendment on an appropriation bill?" Of 
course not. There have been a great many amendments 
put on app^'opriation bills, some mischievous and some harm- 
less : but I call it the audacity of revolution for any Senator 
or Representative, or any caucus of Senators or Representa- 
tives, to get together and say: "We will have this legislation 
or we will stop the great departments of the government." 
That is revolutionary. I do not think it will amount to 
revolution; my opinion is it will not. I think that is a 
revolution that will not go around ; I think that it is a revo- 
lution which will not revolve ; I think that it is a revolution 
whose wheel will not turn ; but it is a revolution if persisted 
in, and if not persisted in it must be backed out from with 
ignominy. The Democratic party in Congress have put 
themselves in this position to-day, that if they go forward in 
the announced programme they march to revolution. I 
think they will, in the end, go back in an ignominious 
retreat. That is my judgment. 

86 Words of James G. Blaine. 

The extent to which they 


of the country is worth pointing out. In round numbers, the 
Southern people are about one third of the population of the 
Union. I am not permitted to speak of the organization of 
the House of Representatives, but I can refer to that of the 
last House. In the last House of Representatives, of the 
forty-two standing committees the South had twenty-five. I 
am not blaming the honorable Speaker for it. He was 
hedged in by partisan forces, and could not avoid it. In this 
very Senate, out of forty-four standing committees the 
South has twenty-two. I am not calling these things up 
just now in reproach ; I am only showing what an admirable 
prophet the late vice-president of the Southern confederacy 
was, and how entirely true all his words have been, and how 
he has lived to see them realized. 

I do not profess to know, Mr. President, least of all Sen- 
ators on this floor, certainly as little as any Senator ori'this 
floor, do I profess to know, wliat the President of the 
United States will do when these bills are presented to him, 
as I suppose in due course of time they will be. I certainl}- 
should never speak a solitary word of disrespect of tlie gen- 
tleman holding that exalted position, and I hope I should 
not speak a word unbefitting the dignity of the office of a 
Senator of the United States. But as there has been specu- 
lation here and there on both sides as to what he would do, 
it seems to me that the dead heroes of the Union Avould rise 
from their graves if he should consent to be intimidated and 

A Free Ballot^ and art Honest Count. 87 

outraged in liis proper constitutional power by threats like 

All the war measures of Abraham Lincoln are to be 
wiped out I say leading Democrats. The Bourbons of 
France busied themselves, I believe, after the restoration in 
removing every trace of Napoleon's power and grandeur, 
even chiseling the " N " from public monuments raised to 
perpetuate his glor}^ ; but the dead man's hand from Saint 
Helena reached out and destroyed them in their pride and in 
their folly. And I tell the Senators on the other side of this 
chamber, — I tell the Democratic part}- North and South — 
South in the lead and North following, — that the slow, 
unmoving finger of scorn from the tomb of the martyred 
President on the prairies of Illinois will wither and destroy 
them. " Though dead he speaketh." 



We have always recommended the best money known to the civilized world, and 
we urge that an effort be made to unite all commercial nations in the establishment of 
an international standard wliich shall fix, for all, the relative value of gold and silver 
coinage. — Eepublican Platform, 1S84. 


[Fro7n a speech in the House of Representatives, February 10, 1876.] 

Mr. Chairman : The honor of the national government 
and the prosperity of the American people are alike menaced 
by those who demand the perpetuation of an irredeemable 
paper currency. For more than two years the country has 
been suffering from prostration in business; confidence 
returns but slowly ; trade revives only partially ; and to-day, 
with capital unproductive and labor unemployed, we find 
ourselves in the midst of an agitation respecting the medium 
with which business transactions shall be carried on. Until 
this question is definitely adjusted it is idle to ex^Dect that 
full measure of prosperity to which the energies of our 
people and the resources of the land entitle us. In the way 
of that adjustment one great section of the Democratic 
party — possibly its controlling power — stubbornly stands 
to-day. The Republicans, always 

A Sound Currency. 89 


of supporting the nation's credit, have now cast behind 
them all miiior differences and dissensions on the financial 
question, and have gradually consolidated their strength 
against inflation. The currency, therefore, becomes of neces- 
sity a prominent political issue, and those Democrats who 
are in favor of honest dealing by the government and 
honest money for the people may be compelled to act as they 
did in that still graver exigency when the existence of the 
government itself was at stake. 

While this question should be approached in no spirit of 
partisan bitterness, it has yet become so entangled with party 
relations that no intelligent discussion of it can be had 
without giving its political history, and if that history bears 
severely on the Democratic party, its defenders must answer 
the facts, and not quarrel with their presentation. Firmly 
attached to one political party myself, firmly believing that 
parties in a free government are as healthful as they are 
inevitable, I still think there are questions about which 
parties should agree never to disagree ; and of these is the 
essential nature and value of the circulating medium. And 
it is a fact of especial weight and significance that up to the 
paper-money era, which was precipitated upon us during the 
rebellion as one of war's inexorable necessities, there never 
was a political party in this country that believed in an}' 
other than the specific standard for our currency. If there 
was any one principle that was rooted and grounded in the 
minds of our earlier statesmen, it was the evil of paper 
money ; and no candid man of any party can read the Con- 

90 Words of James Gr. Blaine. 

stitution of the United States and not be convinced that its 
framers intended to protect and defend our people from the 
manifold perils of an irredeemable currency. Nathaniel 
Macon, one of the purest and best of American statesmen, 
himself a soldier of the Revolution and a member of Con- 
gress continuously during the administration of our first six 
Presidents, embracing in all a period of nearly forty years, 
expressed the whole truth when he declared in the Senate 


founded by hard-money men, who had themselves seen and 
felt the evil of paper money . and meant to save their pos- 
terity from it." 

To this uniform adherence to the specie standard the 
crisis of the rebellion forced an exception. In January, 1862, 
with more than a half-million of men in arms, with a daily 
expenditure of nearly two millions of dollars, the govern- 
ment suddenly found itself without money. Customs 
yielded but little, internal taxes had not yet been levied, 
public credit was feeble, if not paralyzed, our armies had met 
with one signal reverse and nowhere with marked success, 
and men's minds were filled with gloom and apprehension. 
The one supreme need of the hour was money, and money 
the government did not have. What, then, should be 
done — rather, what could be done ? The ordinary treasury 
note had been tried and failed, and those already issued 
were discredited and below the value of the bills of 
country banks. The government in this great and perilous 
need promptly called to its aid a power never before exer- 

. A Sound Currency. - 91 

cised. It authorized the issue of one hundred and fifty 
millions of notes, and declared them to be a legal tender for 
all debts, public or private, with two exceptions. 

The ablest lawyers who sustained this measure did not find 
warrant for it in the text of the Constitution, but like the 
late Senator Fessenden, of my own State, placed it on the 
ground of " absolute, overwhelming necessity " ; and that 
illustrious Senator declared that " the necessity existing, he 
had no hesitation." Indeed, sir, to hesitate was to be lost, 
for the danger was that, if Congress prolonged the debate on 
points of constitutional construction, its deliberations might 
be interrupted by the sound of rebel artillery on the opposite 
shore of the Potomac. The Republican Senators and Repre- 
sentatives, therefore, dismissing all doubts and casuistry, 
stood together for the country, and if taunted, as they were,, 
by the Democracy and disloyalty of that day, with violating 
the Constitution, they pointed to that law which is older 
than constitutions. Adopting the sentiment, as they might 
have quoted the imputed language, of John Milton, they 
believed that " there is the law of self-preservation, written 
by God himself on our hearts ; there is the primal compact 
and bond of society, not graven on stone, nor sealed with 
wax, nor put down on parchment, nor set forth in any 
express form of word by men when of old they came together, 
but implied 'in the very act that they so came together, pre- 
supposed in all subsequent law, not to be repealed by any 
authority, not invalidated by being omitted in ^\\j code, 
inasmuch as from thence are all codes and all authority." 

But the promptings of patriotism, the pressure of neces- 

92 Words of James Gr. Blaine. 

sity, the " despotism of duty," wliicli thus decided the 
course of the Republicans failed to influence the Democrats 
in Congress. Marshaled and led- by Mr. Pendleton, since 
become the great advocate of inflation, the Democratic 
Representatives voted in wellnigh solid column against the 
legal-tender bill. Bankruptcy in the treasury was im- 
pending; eighty millions of unpaid requisitions lay on the 
secretary's desk ; a large part of the army had not received 
a dollar for six months ; supplies were failing ; recruiting 
halted; the spirits of the people drooped; while the execu- 
tive department, charged with the conduct of the war, 
urged that critical campaigns, then in progress, would 
necessarily end in disaster unless relief could be afforded in 
this way. But Democrat consciences were too tender, and 
Pemocratic scruples too intense, at that time to permit such 
a fearful infraction of the Constitution as the passage of a 
legal-tender bill, even to save the Union of our fathers and 
thus preserve the Constitution itself. 

The necessities of the government were so great and 
expenditures so enormous that another hundred and fifty 
millions of legal-tender notes were speedily called for and 
granted by Congress, 


under Mr. Pendleton's lead against the measure. With 
varying fortunes, the last year of the war was reached, with 
three hundred millions of legal tender in circulation. With 
the strain of our public credit and tlie doubts and vicissitudes 
of the struggle these notes had fallen far below par in gold, 

A Sound Currency, 93 

and it became apparent to every clear-headed observer that 
the continued issue of legal tenders, with no provision for 
their redemption and no limit to their amount, would utterly 
destroy the credit of the government and involve the Union 
cause in irretrievable disaster. But, at that moment, the 
military situation, with its perils and its prospects, was such 
that the government must have money more rapidly than the 
sale of bonds could furnish it, and the danger was that the 
sale of bonds would be stopped altogether unless some defi- 
nite limit could be assigned to the issue of legal-tender notes. 
Accordingly, Congress sought, and successfully sought, to 
accomplish both ends at the same time, and they passed a bill 
granting one hundred millions additional legal-tender circu- 
lation — making four hundred millions in all — and then 
incorporated in the same law the solemn assurance and 
pledge that " the total amount of United States notes, issued 
and to be issued, shall never exceed four hundred millions of 
dollars." And to this pledge every Democratic Senator and 
Representative assented, either actively or silently, as the 
Journals of both Houses will show. The subsequent readi- 
ness of many of those gentlemen to trample on it must be 
upon the broad principle of ethics that the government 
should keep those pledges which are profitable, and disre- 
gard those which it will pay to violate. 

When the war was over and the Union saved, one of the 
first duties of the government was to improve its credit and 
restore a sound currency to the people ; and here we might 
have seasonably expected .the aid of the Democratic party. 
But we did not receive it. Irreconcilably hostile to the issue 

94 Words of James Gr. Blame. 

of legal tenders when that form of credit was needed for the 
salvation of the country, the Democracy, as soon as the 
country was saved, conceived a violent love for these notes, 
and demanded 


Mr. Seymour, as the Democratic candidate for President in 
1868, scouting the four hundred million pledge, stood on a 
platform demanding that sixteen hundred millions of five- 
twenties be paid off in legal tenders ; and he so heartily 
approved this policy, that in liis letter of acceptance he 
declared that " he should strive to carry it out in the future, 
wherever he might be placed in political or private life." 
His position at that time was approved by every Democrat 
of high or low degree in New York, was unanimously reaf- 
firmed in their State convention, was sustained by all their 
newspaper organs, and was the recognized creed of the 
party. East as well as West. Mr. Seymour and his political 
associates in New York have changed their ground and now 
proclaim an honest financial creed ; and after the manner of 
the Pharisee, they broaden their phylacteries, make loud pro- 
fessions of superior zeal, and thank God reverently that they 
are not as their sinful brethren of the Ohio Democracy — 
those financial Sadducees, who continue to reject all idea of 
resurrection or redemption for the legal tender. 

I have thus briefly referred to the past, Mr. Chairman, 
only because I think it has an important bearing on the 
present and the future. I do not assume that the Republi- 
can party can possibly discharge its pending responsibilities 

A Sound Currency. 95 

by merely pointing to its former grand achievements. " Let 
not virtue seek remuneration for the thing it was." But I 
do claim that on this financial question the course of the 
Republican party in the jDast is a guaranty for the future, 
and that equally the course of the Democratic party, of both 
wings and all shades, is a menace and a warning to the 

If, however, the New York school of Democrats, repenting 
of their former course and seeking better ways for the 
future, are ready to give honest help in the restoration of a 
sound currency, they will be gladly welcomed and their 
faith will be tested by works before this session of Congress 
closes. They will not, however, deem it strange or harsh if, 
remembering their past record, we feel an uncomfortable 
sense of distrust as to their entire sincerity in the future. 
This distrust is increased when we witness the brazen bold- 
ness with which, in full view of their repudiation record of 
but yesterday, they assume a stilted tone of superior honesty 
on the financial question, and affect patronizing language 
toward the Republicans Avho saved the nation from the last- 
ing blight of Mr. Seymour's triumph in 1868. Still further 
deepened and strengthened is the distrust when we remem- 
ber the formal alliance which the New York Democrats 
have renewed with the Democrats of the South, to whom our 
whole financial system is but a reminder of what they them- 
selves term their subjugation, and who from past action and 
present tendency are unfitted to be the safe repository of the 
nation's pledges for the payment of its war debt. We have 
passed into a new era, and to recall the Southern Democracy, 

96 Words of James Gr. Blaine. 

with their appalling record, to their ancient control in this 
country would be as decisive a step backward and nightward 
as it would have been for the English people to surround 
William of Orange with a Parliament made up of adherents 
to the lost house of Stuart, or as it would be to-day for the 
French Assembly to thrust on McMahon a cabinet devoted 
to the fortunes of Henr}^ Fifth. 

As I said at the outset of m)^ remarks, Mr. Chairman, the 
country is suffering under one of those periodical revulsions 
in trade common to all commercial nations, and which thus 
far no wisdom of legislation has been able to avert. The 
natural restlessness of a people so alive and alert as ours 
looks for an instant remedy, and the danger in such a condi- 
tion of the public mind is that something may be adopted 
that will ultimately deepen the disease rather than lay the 
groundwork for an effectual cure. Naturally enough in 
such a time the theories for relief are numerous, and we have 
marvelous receipts offered whereby the people shall be 
enabled to pay the dollar the}^ owe with less than a hundred 
cents: while those who are caught with such a delusion 
seemingly forget that, even if this be so, they must likewise 
receive less than a hundred cents for the dollar that is due 
them. Whether the dollar that they owe to-day or the 
dollar that is due them to-morrow will have the greater or 
less number of cents depends on the shifting of causes which 
they can neither control or foresee ; and therefore all certain 
calculation in trade is set at defiance, and those branches of 
business which take on the form of gambling are by a finan- 
cial paradox the most secure and most promising. 

A Sound Currency. 97 

Uncertainty as to the value of the currency from day to 
day is 


And while that which is known as the debtor interest 
should be fairly and generously considered in the shaping of 
measures for specie resumption, there is no justice in asking 
for inflation on its behalf. Rather there is the gravest 
injustice ; for you must remember that there is a large class 
of most deserving persons who would be continually and 
remorselessly robbed by such a policy. I mean the Labor 
of the country, that is compelled to live from and by its 
daily earnings. The savings-banks wdiich represent the 
surj^lus owned by the laborers of the nation, have deposits 
to-day exceeding eleven hundred millions of dollars — more 
than the entire capital stock and deposits of the national 
banks. The pensioners, Avho represent the patriotic suffering 
of the country, have a capitalized investment of six hundred 
millions of dollars. Here are seventeen hundred millions of 
money incapable of receiving anything but instant and 
lasting injury from inflation. Whatever impairs the pur- 
chasing power of the dollar correspondingly decreases the 
resources of the saving-bank depositor and pensioner. The 
pensioner's loss would be absolute, but it would probably be 
argued that the laborer would receive compensation by his 
nominally larger earnings. But this would prove totally 
delusive, for no possible augmentation of wages in a time of 
inflation will ever keep pace with the still greater increase 
of price in the commodities necessary to sustain life, except 
— and mark the exception — under the condition witnessed 

98 Words of James G-. Blaine. 

during the war, when the number of laborers was con- 
tinually reduced by the demand of men to serve in the army 
and navy. And those honest-minded people who recall the 
startling activity of trade and the large profits during the 
war, and attribute both to an inflated currency, commit the 
error of leaving out the most important element of the 
calculation. They forget that the government^ was a cus- 
tomer for nearly four years at the rate of two or three 
millions of dollars per day — buying countless quantities of 
all staple articles; they forget that the number of con- 
sumers was continually enlarging as our armed force grew 
to its ■ gigantic proportions, and that the number of pro- 
ducers was by the same cause continually growing less, and 
that thus was presented, on a scale of unprecedented magni- 
tude, tliat simple problem, familiar alike to the political 
economist and the village trader, of the demand being 
greater than the supply, and a consequent rise in the price. 
Had the government been able to conduct the war on a gold 
basis and provided the coin for its necessarily large and 
lavish expenditure, a rise in the price of labor and a rise in 
the value of commodities would have been inevitable. 
And the rise of both labor and commodities in gold would 
have been for the time as marked as in paper, adding, of 
course, the depreciation of the latter to its scale of prices. 
While the delusion of creating wealth by the issue of 
irredeemable paper currency may lead to any ^number of 
absurd propositions, the advocates of the heresy seem to 
have settled down on two measures — or, rather, one measure 
composed of two parts, namely: To abolish the national 

A Sound Currency/, 99 

banks, and then have the government issue legal tenders at 
once to the amount of the bank circulation, and add to the 
volume from time to time thereafter "according to the 
wants of trade." The two propositions are so inseparably 
connected that I shall discuss them together. 


Mr. Chairman, was one of the results of the war, and 
the credit of its origin belongs to the late Salmon 
P. Chase, then secretary of the treasury. And it may 
not be unprofitable just here to recall to the House the 
circumstances which at the time made the national banks 
a necessity to the government. At the outbreak of the 
war there were considerably over a thousand State banks 
of various degrees of responsibility, or irresponsibility, 
scattered throughout the country. Their charters demanded 
the redemption of their bills in specie, and under the 
pressure of this requirement their aggregate circulation 
was kept within decent limits, but the amount of it was in 
most instances left to the discretion of the directors, and not 
a few of these banks issued ten dollars of bills for one of 
specie in their vaults. With the passage of the legal tender 
act, however, followed by an enormous issue of government 
notes, the State banks would no longer be required to 
redeem in specie, and would, therefore, at once flood the 
country v/ith their own bills and take from the government 
its resource in that direction. To restrict and limit their 
circulation, and to make the banks as helpful as possible in 
the great work of sustaining the government finances, the 
national-bank act was passed. 

100 Words of James G-. Blaine. 

This act required, in effect, that every bank should loan 
its entire stock to the government ; or, in other words, to 
invest it in government bonds ; and then, on depositing these 
bonds with the treasurer of the United States, the bank 
might receive not exceeding ninety per cent, of their amount 
in circulating-notes, the government holding the bonds for 
the protection of the billholder in case the bank should fail. 
And that, in brief, is precisely what a national bank, is to-day. 
I do not say the system is perfect. I do not feel called upon 
to rush to its advocacy or its defence. I do not doubt that 
as we go forward we may find many points in Avhich the sys- 
tem can be improved. But this I am bold to maintain, that, 
contrasted with any other system of banking this country 
has ever had, it is immeasurably superior ; and whoever asks, 
as some Democrats now do, for its abolition, with a view of 
getting back any system of State banks, is a blind leader; 
and a very deep ditch of disorder and disaster awaits the 
followers, if the people should ever bo so blinded as to take 
that fatal step. 

It is greatly to be deplored, Mr. Chairman, that many 
candid men have conceived the notion that it would be a 
saving to the people if all banks could be dispensed with 
and a circulating medium be furnished by the government 
issuing legal tenders. I do not stop here to argue that this 
would be in violation of the government's pledge not to issue 
more than four hundred millions of its own notes. I merely 
remark that that pledge is binding in honor until legal 
tenders are redeemable in coin on presentation, and when 
that point is reached there will be no desire, as there will 

A Sound Currency. 101 

certainly be no necessity, for the government issuing 
additional notes. 

The great and, to my mind, unanswerable objection to 
this scheme is that it places the currency wholly in the power 
and under the direction of Congress. Now, Congress always 
has been and always will be governed by the partisan major- 
ity, representing one of the political parties of the country ; 
and the proposition, therefore, reduces itself to this — that 
the circulating medium, instead of having a fixed, determin- 
ate character, shall be shifted, and changed, and manipulated, 
according to the supposed need3 of " the party.'' I profess, 
Mr. Chairman, to have some knowledge of the American 
Congress; its general character, its ^personnel., its scope, its 
limit, its power. I think, on the whole, that it is a far more 
patriotic, intelligent, and upright body of men than it 
generally gets credit for in the country ; but, at the same 
time, I can possibly conceive of no assemblage of respectable 
gentlemen in the United States 


from time to time the amount of circulation required by 
" the wants of trade." But, indeed, no body of men could 
be intrusted with that power. Even if it were possible to 
trust their discretion, their integrity would be constantly 
under suspicion. If they performed their duties with the 
purity of an angel of light, they could not successfully repel 
those charges which always follow where, the temptation to 
do wrong is powerful and the way easy. Experience would 
very soon demonstrate that no more corrupt or corrupting 

102 Words of James G. Blaine. 

device, no wilder or more visionary project, ever entered the 
brain of the schemer or the empiric. 

If the people of the United States were fully awake and 
aroused to their interests, and could see things as they are, 
instead of increasing the power of Congress over the curren- 
cy, they would by the shortest practicable process divorce 
the two, completely and forever. And this can onlj^ be done 
finally, effectually, irreversibly, by the resumption of specie 
payment. Why, Mr. Chairman, it is hardly an exaggeration 
to say that, ever since the government was compelled to 
resort to irredeemable currency during tlie war, the assem- 
bling of ConoTcss and its continuance in session have been 
the most disturbing elements in the business of the countr}^ 
It is literally true that no man can tell what a day may bring 
forth. One large interest looks hopefully to contraction and 
the lowering of the gold premium ; another is ruined unless 
there is such a movement toward expansion as will send gold 
up. Each side, of course, endeavors to influence and con- 
vince Congress. Both sides naturally have their S3'mpa- 
thizing advocates on this floor, and hence the substantial 
business interests of the country are kept in a feverish, 
doubtful, speculative state. Men's minds are turned from 
honest industry to schemes of financial gambling, the public 
morals suffer, old-fashioned integrity is forgotten, and solid, 
enduring prosperity, with honest gains and quiet content- 
ment, is rendered impossible. We have suffered thus far in 
perhaps as light a degree as could be expected under the cir- 
cumstances ; but once adopt the insane idea that all currency 
shall be issued directly to the government, and that Congress 

A Sound Currency. 103 

shall be the judge of the amount demanded by the "wants 
of trade," and you have this country adrift, rudderless, on 
a sea of troubles, shoreless and soundless. 

It is a singular coincidence, Mr. Chairman — one of those 
odd happenings sometimes brought about by political muta- 
tions — that those who ]jrge this scheme upon the govern- 
ment are Democrats, every one of them would doubtless 
claim to be a true disciple of Andrew Jackson. And yet 
all the evils of which Jackson warned the country in his 
famous controversy with the United States Bank are a thou- 
sand-fold magnified and a thousand-fold aggravated in this 
plan of making 


with Congress for the governing board of directors. I com- 
mend to the gentlemen of Democratic antecedents a careful 
perusal of Jackson's great message of July 10, 1832, and I 
wish them to frankly tell this House how they think Jackson 
would have regarded the establishment of a great national 
paper-money machine, to be located for all time in the 
treasury department, the bills of wliich shall have no pro- 
vision for their redemption, and the amount of those bills to 
be determined by a majority vote in a party caucus. ^ 

And then, after Jackson's veto message shall have been 
diligently perused and inwardly digested by the Democratic 
advocates of irredeemable paper money, I will ask them if 
the present national-bank system does not fully meet all of 
Jackson's objections, and if it is not, indeed, as nearly as the 
difference of time and circumstances will permit, such 

104 Words of James G. Blaine. 

a system of banking as Jackson indirectly commended and 
as he professed himself ready to submit a plan for if Con- 
gress shonld desire it? Disclaiming, as I have done, any 
special championship of the national banks, but merely 
referring to the facts of record, 1 would be glad further to 
ask if the present system, in its entire freedom from 
monopoly, being equally open to all ; if in the absolute pro- 
tection it affords to that innocent third party, the billholder 
(no man ever having lost a dollar by the bills of national 
banks during the thirteen years the system has been in oper- 
ation, whereas in tlie preceding thirteen years the losses to 
the people by bills of State banks exceeded fifty millions of 
dollars) ; if in that universal credit attached to its bills, 
saving the people all losses from exchange or discount wher- 
ever payment is to be made within the United States ; if in 
its protection of the rights of depositors ; if in its strength 
and solvency in time of financial disaster ; if in its subjection 
to taxation, both by the general and State governments, 
until it confessedly pays a heavier tax than any other species 
of property : if in its capacity to measure, by the unvarying 
law of supply and demand, the precise amount of circulation 
required by the " wants of trade," — I would be glad, I 
repeat, to ask any Democratic opponent of the system if it 
does not in each and all" of these features fill the ideal 
requirements of a bank as foreshadowed by Jackson, and if 
it does not indeed far transcend any ideal Jackson had, in 
its freedom for all to engage in it, in its absolute security to 
the public, and in its singular adaptation to act as a regulator 
of the currency, preventing undue expansion and undue 

A Sound Currency. 


contraction with equal aiid unfailing certainty, and adjusting 
itself at once to the specie standard whenever the govern- 
ment shall place its own notes at par with coin? 

It is urcred bv tlie opponents of the banking system that 
the three "hundred and twenty millions of bank circulation 
can be supplied by the legal tenders and the interest on that 
amount of bonds stopped! How? Does any gentleman 
suppose that the bonds owned by the banks, and on deposit 
in the treasury, will be exchanged for legal tenders of a new 
and inflated issue? Those bonds are payable, prinoipa and 
interest, in gold; and, with the present amount o legal- 
tender notes, they are worth in the market from 11.16 to 
fl 25 What will they be worth in paper money when you 
double the amount of legal tenders and postpone the day ot 
specie resumption far beyond the vision of prophet or seer? 
And this enormous issue of legal tenders' to take the place of 
banknotes is only the beginning of the policy to be inaugu- 
rated The "wants of trade" would speedily demand 
another issue, for the essential nature of an irredeemable cur- 
rencv is that it has no limit till a reaction is born of crushing 
disaster. A lesson might be learned (by those willing to be 
taught by fact and experience) from the course of events 
durln- the war. When we had one hundred and fifty mill- 
ions o"f legal tender in circulation, it stood for a long time 
nearly at par with gold. As the issue increased "^ ^^o™^* 
the depreciation was very rapid, and at the tune we fixed the 
four hundred million limit, that whole vast sum had less 
purchasing power in exchange for lands, or houses, or mer- 
chandise than the hundred and fifty millions had two years 

106 Words of James G. Blaine. 

before. In the spring of 1862, -$150,000,000 of legal tender 
would buy in the market $147,000,000 in gold coin. In 
June, 1864, $400,000,000 of legal tender would buy only 
$140,000,000 in gold coin. 

And if we had not fixed the four hundred million limit, 
but had gone on issuing additional amounts according to the 


as now argued and urged by the modern Democratic finan- 
ciers, tlie result would have been that at each successive 
inflation the purchasing power of the aggregate mass would 
have been made less, and the value of the whole would have 
gone down, down, till it reached that point of utter worth- 
lessness, which so many like experiments have reached 
before ; and the legal tender, with all its vast capacity for 
good in a great national crisis, would have taken its place 
in history alongside of the French assignat and the conti- 
nental currency. The four hundred million limit happily 
saved us that direful experience, and at once caused the 
legal tender to appreciate ; but, unwilling to learn by this 
striking fact, the inflationists insist upon a scheme of expan- 
sion which would speedily raise the price of bonds to un|)re- 
cedented figures, and by the time they should succeed in 
purchasing those that now stand as security for national- 
bank circulation they would have increased the national 
debt by countless millions, and instead of making a saving 
for the treasury they would end by depriving it of the eight 
millions of tax annually paid by the banks, and the people 
would have lost the additional eight millions of local tax 
derived from the same source. 

A Sound Currency. 107 

I have not spoken of the confnsion, the distress, the ruin, 
that would result from forcing twenty-one hundred banks 
suddenly to wind up their affairs with nearly a thousand 
millions of dollars due them, which in some form must needs 
be liquidated and paid. The commercial fabric of the 
country rests upon the bank credits, and notliing short of 
financial lunacy should demand their rude disturbance. 
Whoever would strike down the banks under the delusion 
that they can be driven to surrender their bonds for inflated 
legal tenders, knows little of the laws of finance and still 
less of the laws of human action. . . . 

When the national government was organized in 1789 the 
most liberal estimate of the property of the entire thirteen 
States placed it at six hundred millions of dollars — less 
than the wealth of Boston or of Chicago to-day. The pop- 
ulation was four millions, showing a property of one hundred 
and fifty dollars to each inhabitant. By the census of 1870 
our population had increased to thirty-eight millions and our 
wealth to thirty thousand millions, showing eight hundred 
dollars per capita for the whole people. Our population had 
increased in the eighty intervening years not quite tenfold, 
but our wealth had increased fifty-fold. 


with their slender resources, did not hesitate to assume 
a national debt of ninety millions of dollars, being more than 
one seventh of their entire possessions ; and it never occurred 
to them that an abandonment of the specie basis would make 
their burden lighter. They knew from their terrible experi- 

108 Woi'ds of James Gr. Blaine. - 

ence with continental currency that all their evils would be 
painfully increased by a resort to paper money. And in 
their poverty, with no accumulated capital, with manufac- 
tures in feeblest infancy, with commerce undeveloped, with 
low prices for their agricultural products, they maintained 
the gold and silver standard, they paid their great debt, they 
grew rich in the property which we inherited, but far richer 
in that bright, unsullied honor which they bequeathed to us. 
To-day, the total debts of the American people, national, 
State, and municipal, are not so large in proportion to 
already acquired property as was the national debt alone in 
1790. And when we take into the account the relative pro- 
ductive power of the two periods, our present burdens are 
absolutel}^ inconsiderable. When ^ve reflect what the rail- 
way, the telegraph, the cotton-gin, and our endless mechani- 
cal inventions and agencies have done for us in the way of 
increasing our capacity for producing wealth, we should be 
ashamed to pretend that we cannot bear larger burdens than 
our ancestors. And remember, Mr. Chairman, that our 
wealth from 1790 to 1870 increased more than five times 
as rapidly as our population, and that the same development 
is even now progressing Avith a continually accelerating- 
ratio. Remember, also, that the annual income and earnings 
of our people are larger than those of any European country, 
larger than those of England, or France, or Russia, or the 
German empire. The English people stand next to us, but 
we are largely in advance of them. The annual income of 
our entire people exceeds six thousand millions in gold, and 
despite financial reverses and revulsions is steadily in- 

A Sound Currency, 109 

In view of these facts it would be an unpardonable moral 
weakness in our people — always heroic when, heroism is 
demanded — to doubt their own capacity to maintain specie 
payment. I am not willing, myself, to acknowledge that as 
a people we are less honorable, less courageous, or less com- 
petent than were our ancestors in 1790; still less am I ready 
to own that the people of the entire Union have not the 
pluck and the capacity of our friends and kinsmen in Cali- 
fornia ; and last of all would I confess that the United 
States of America, with forty- four millions of inhabitants, 
with a territory surpassing all Europe in area, and I might 
almost say all the world in fertility of resources, are not able 
to do Avhat a handful of British subjects, scattered from 
Cape Race to Vancouver's Island, can do so easily, so 
steadily, and so successfully. 


The responsibility of re-establishing silver in its ancient 
and honorable place as money in Europe and America 
devolves really on the Congress of the United States. If we 
act here with prudence, wisdom, and firmness, we shall not 
only successfully remonetize silver and bring it into general 
use as money in our own country, but the influence of our 
example will be potential among all European nations, with 
the possible exception of England.- Indeed, our annual 
indebtment to Europe is so great, that if we have the right to 
pay it in silver, we necessarily coerce those nations, by the 
strongest of all forces, self-interest, to aid us in upholding 

110 Words of James Gr. Blaine, 

the value of silver as money. But if we attempt the remone- 
tization on a basis which is obviously and notoriously below 
the fair standard of value as it now exists, we incur all the 
Qvil consequences of failure at home and the positive 
certainty of successful opposition abroad. We are and shall 
be the greatest producers of silver in the world, and we 
have a larger stake in its complete monetization than any 
other country. The difference to the United States between 
the general acceptance of silver as money in the commercial 
world and its destruction as money, will possibly equal 
within the Jiext half-century the entire bonded debt of the 
nation. But to gain this advantage, we must make it actual 
money — the accepted equal of gold in the markets of the 
world. Remonetization here, followed by general remone- 
tization in Europe, will secure to the United States the most 
stable basis for its currency that we have ever enjoyed, and 
will effectually aid in solving all the problems by which 
our financial situation is surrounded. 


On the mucli-vexed and long-mooted question of a bi- 
metallic or mono-metallic standard, my own views are suffi- 
ciently indicated in the remarks I have made. I believe the 
struggle now going on in this country and in other countries 
for a single gold standard would, if successful, produce wide- 
spread disaster in the end throughout the commercial world. 
The destruction of silver as money and establishing gold as 
the sole unit of value must have a ruinous effect on all forms 
of property except those investments which yield a fixed 

A Sound Currency. Ill 

return in money. These would be enormously enhanced 
in value, and would gain a disproportionate and unfair 
advantage over every other species of property. If, as the 
most reliable statistics affirm, there are nearly seven thou- 
sand millions of coin or bullion in the world, not very 
unequally divided between gold and silver, it is impossible 
to strike silver out of existence as money without results 
which will prove distressing to millions and utterly disas- 
trous to tens of thousands. Alexander Hamilton, in his able 
and invaluable report in 1791 on the establishment of a mint, 
declared that " to annul the use of either gold or silver as 
money is to abridge the quantity of circulating medium, and 
is liable to all the objections which arise from a comparison 
of the benefits of a full circulation with the evils of a scanty 
circulation." I take no risk in saying that the benefits of 
a full circulation and the evils of a scanty circulation are 
both immeasurably greater to-day than they were when Mr. 
Hamilton uttered these weighty words, always provided that 
the circulation is one of actual money, and not of depreciated 
promises to pay. 


The effect of paying the labor of this country in silver 
coin of full value, as compared with irredeemable paper, — 
or as compared, even, with silver of inferior value, — will 
make itself felt in a single generation to the extent of tens of 
millions — perhaps liun.dreds of millions — in the aggregate 
savings which represent consolidated capital. It is the 
instinct of man from the savage to the scholar — developed 

112 Words of Jame% G. Blaine. 

in childhood and remaining with age — to value the metals 
which in all tongues are called precious. Excessive paper 
money leads to extravagance, to Avaste, and to want, as we 
plainly witness on all sides to-day. And in the midst of the 
proof of its demoralizing and destructive effect, Ave hear it 
proclaimed in the halls of Congress, that " the people demand 
cheap money." I deny it. I declare such a phrase to be a 
total misapprehension — a total misinterpretation of the pop- 
ular wish. The people do not demand cheap money. They 
demand an abundance of good money, which is an entirely 
different thing. They do not want a single gold standard 
that will exclude silver and benefit those already rich. 
They do not want an inferior silver standard that will drive 
out gold and not help those already poor. They want 
both metals, in full value, in equal honor, in whatever 
abundance the bountiful earth will yield them to the search- 
ing eye of science and to the hard hand of labor. 

The two metals have existed side by side in harmonious, 
honorable companionship as money ever since intelligent 
trade was known among men. It is wellnigh forty centuries 
since " Abraham weighed to Ephron the silver which he had 
named in the audience of the sons of Heth • — four hundred 
shekels of silver — current money with the merchant." 
Since that time nations have risen and fallen, races have dis- 
appeared, dialects and languages have been forgotten, arts 
have been lost, treasures have perished, continents have been 
discovered, islands have been sunk in the sea, and through 
all these ages and through all these changes silver and gold 
have reigned supreme as the representatives of value — as 

A Sound Currency. 113 

the media of exchange. The dethronement of each has 
been attempted in turn, and sometimes the dethronement of 
both ; but always in vain ! And we are here to-day deliber- 
ating anew over the problem which comes down to us from 
Abraham's time — the weight of the silver that shall be " cur- 
rent money Avith the merchant." 


What power, then, has Congress over gold and silver ? It 
has the exclusive power to coin them ; the exclusive power 
to regulate their value ; very great, very wise, very necessary 
powers, for the discreet exercise of which a critical occasion 
has now risen. However men may differ about causes and 
processes, all will admit that within a few years a great dis- 
turbance has taken taken place in the relative values of gold 
and silver, and that silver is worth less or gold is worth more 
in the money markets of the w^orld in 1878 than in 1873, 
when the further coinage of silver dollars was prohibited in 
this country. To remonetize it now as though the facts and 
circumstances of that day Vv^ere surrounding us, is to wilfully 
and blindly deceive ourselves. If our demonetization were 
the only cause for the decline in the value of silver, then 
remonetization would be its proper and effectual cure. But 
other causes, quite beyond our control, have been far more 
potentially operative than the simple fact of Congress pro- 
hibiting its further coinage ; and as legislators we are bound 
to take cognizance of these causes. The demonetization of 
silver in the great German empire and the consequent par- 

114 Words of James Gr. Blaine, 

tial, or wellnigh complete, suspension of coinage in the 
governments of the Latin Union, have been the leading, 
dominant causes for the rapid decline in the value of silver. 
I do not think the oversu2:)ply of silver has had, in compari- 
son with these other causes, an appreciable influence in the 
decline of its value, because its oversupply with respect to 
gold in these later years has not been nearly so great as was 
the oversupply of gold with respect to silver for many years 
after the mines of California and Australia were opened ; and 
the oversupply of gold from those rich sources did not affect 
the relative positions and uses of the two metals in any 
European country. 

I believe, then, if Germany were to remonetize silver and 
the kingdoms and states of the Latin Union were to reopen 
their mints, silver would at once resume its former relation 
-with gold. The European countries when driven to full 
remonetization, as I believe they will be, must of necessity 
adopt their old ratio of fifteen and a half of silver to one of 
gold, and we shall then be compelled to adopt the same ratio 
instead of our former sixteen to one. For if we fail to do 
this we shall, as before, lose our silver, which like all things 
else seeks the highest market; and if fifteen and a half 
pounds of silver Avill buy as much gold in Europe as sixteen 
pounds will buy in America, the silver, of course, will go to 
Europe. But our line of policy in a joint movement with 
other nations to remonetize is very simple and very direct. 
The difficult problem is what we shall do when we aim to 
re-establish silver without the co-operation of European 
powers, and really as an advance movement to coerce them 

A Sound Currency. 115 

there into the same policy. Evidently the first dictate of 
prudence is to coin such a dollar as will not only do justice 
among our citizens at home but will prove a protection — 
an absolute barricade — against the gold mono-metallists of 
Europe, who, whenever the opportunity offers, will quickly 
draw from us the one hundred and sixty millions of gold 
coin which we still hold. And if we coin a silver dollar of 
full legal tender, obviously below the current value of the 
gold dollar, we are opening wide our doors and inviting 
Europe to take our gold. And with our gold flowing out 
from us we are forced to the single silver standard and our 
relations with the leading commercial countries of the world 
are at once embarrassed and crippled. 



The Republican party, having its birth in a hatred of slave labor and in a desire 
that al may be free and equal, is unalterably opposed to placing our workingmen in 
competition Avith any form of servile labor, whether at home or abroad. In this spirit 
we denounce the importation of contract labor, whether from Europe or Asia, as an 
offence against the spirit of American institutions, and we pledge ourselves to sustain 
the present law restricting Chinese immigration and to provide such further legisla- 
tion as is necessary to carry out its purposes. —i?e?m&Z/crt?» Platform, 1884. 

[The selections in tliis section have been taken from the speech delivered in the Senate, 
Februarij 14, 1879, and from the letter to William Lloyd Garrison published in the New 
York Tribune.] 



As I said, the Chinese question is not new. We have had 
it here very often, and proceeding somewhat to the second 
brancli, I hxy down this principle, that, so far as my vote is 
concerned, I will not admit a man to immigration to this 
country that I am not willing to place on the basis of a citizen. 
Let me repeat that. We ought not to admit to this country 
of universal suffrage the immigration of a great people, 
great in numbers, whom we ourselves declare are utterly 
unfit to become citizens. 

What do you say on that point? In the Senate of the 
United States, on the fourth of July, 1870, a patriotic day, 
Ave were amending the naturalization laws. Wii had made 
all the negroes of the United States voters practically ; at 

Imported and Contract Labor, 117 

least we had said they should not be deprived of suffrage by 
reason of race or color. We had admitted them all, and we 
then amended the naturalization laws so that the gentleman 
from Africa himself could become a citizen of the United 
States ; and an immigrant from Africa to-morrow, from the 
coast of Guinea or Senegambia, can be naturalized and made 
an American citizen. The Senator Trumbull moved to add: 
" Or persons born in the Chinese empire." 

He said : '• I liave offered this amendment so as to brinof 
the distinct (question before the Senate, whether they will 
vote to naturalize persons from Africa, and vote to refuse to 
naturalize those who come from China. I ask for the yeas 
and nays on my amendment." 

The yeas and nays were as follows on the question of 
whether we Avould ever admit a Chinaman to become an 
American citizen. The yeas were : Messrs. Fenton, Fowler, 
McDonald, Pomeroy, Rice, Robertson, Sprague, Sumner, and 
Trumbull — 9. 

The nays were : Messrs. Bayard, Boreman, Chandler, 
Conkling, Corbett, Cragin, Drake, Gilbert, Hamilton of 
Maryland, Hamlin, Harlan, Howe, McCreery, Morrill of 
Vermont, Morton, Nye, Osborn, Ramsey, Saulsbury, Sawyer, 
Scott, Stewart, Stockton, Thayer, Thurman, Tipton, Vickers, 
Warner, Wiley, Williams, and Wilson — 31. 

My friend from Rhode Island [Mr. Anthony] and the hon- 
orable chairman of the judiciary committee [Mr. Edmunds] 
are put among the absent, but there was a vote of 31 against 
9 in a Senate three fourths Republican, declaring that the 
Chinaman never ought to be made a citizen. I think that 

118 Words of James Gr. Blaine. 

settles the whole question, if that was a correct vote, because 
you cannot in our system of government as it is to-day, Avith 
safety to all, permit a large immigration of people who are 
not to be made citizens and take part in the government. 
The Senator from California tells us that already the male 
adult Chinese in California are more numerous than the white 
voters. I take him as an authority from his own State, and 
I should expect him to take my statement about my own 

It seems to me that if Ave adopt as a permanent policy the 
free immigration of those who, by overwhelming votes in 
both branches of Congress, we say shall forever remain politi- 
cal and social pariahs in a great free government, we have 
introduced an element that -we cannot handle. You cannot 
stop where we are ; you are compelled to do one of two 
things — either exclude the immigration of Chinese or 
include them in the great family of citizens. 


Well, what about the question of numbers ? Did it ever 
occur to my honorable friend from Ohio that the vast 
myriads of millions almost, as you might call them, the 
incalculable hordes in China, are much nearer to the Pacific 
coast of the United States, in point of money and passage, in 
point of expense of reacliing it, than the people of Kansas ? 
A man in Shanghai or Song-Kong can be delivered at San 
Francisco more cheaply than a man in Omaha now. I do 
not speak of the Atlantic coast, where the population is still 
more dense; but you may take the Mississippi Valley, 

Imported and Contract Labor. 119 

Illinois, Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas, Missouri, all the great 
Commonwealths of that valley, and they are, in point of 
expense, further off from the Pacific slope than the vast 
hordes in China and Japan. 

I am told by those who are familiar with the commercial 
affairs of the Pacific side that a person can be sent from any 
of the great Chinese ports to San Francisco for something 
over $30. I suppose in an emigrant train over the 
Pacific Railroad from Omaha, not to speak of the expense of 
reaching Omaha, but from that point alone, it would cost 
$50 per head, and that would be cheap railroad fare as 
things go in this country. So that in point of practica- 
bility — in point of getting there — the Chinaman to-day has 
an advantage over an American laborer in any part of the 
country, except in the case of those who are already on the 
Pacific coast. 

Ought we to exclude them? The question lies in my 
mind thus : either the Anglo-Saxon race will possess the 
Pacific slope or the Mongolians will possess it. You give 
them the start to-day with the keen thrust of necessity behind 
them, and with the ease of transportation before them, with 
the inducements to come, while we are filling up the other 
portions of the continent, and it is entirely inevitable, if not 
demonstrable, that they will occupy that great space of country 
between the Sierras and the Pacific coast. They are them- 
selves to-day establishing steamship lines ; they are them- 
selves to-day providing the means of transportation ; and 
when gentlemen say that we admit from all other countries, 
where do you find the slightest parallel ? And in a Kepublic 

120 Wo7\is of James Gr. Blaine. 

especially, in any government that maintains itself, the unit 
of order and of administration is in the family. The emi- 
grants that come to us from all portions of the British 
Isles, from Germany, from Norway, from Denmark, from. 
France, from Spain, from Italy, come here with the idea* of 
the family as much engraven on their minds and in their 
customs and in their habits as we have it. The Asiatic 
cannot go on with our population and make a homogeneous 
element. The idea of comparing European immigration 
with an immigration that has no regard to family, that does 
not recognize the relation of husband and wife, that does 
not observe the tie of parent and child, that does not have 
in the slightest degree the ennobling and the civilizing influ- 
ences of the hearthstone and the fireside ! Why, when 
gentlemen talk loosely about emigration from European 
states as contrasted with that, they certainly are forgetting 
history and forgetting themselves. 


There has not been from the outset any immigration of 
Chinese in the sense in which immigration comes to us from 
Europe. It has all been " under contract " and through 
agencies, and if not in every respect of the Coolie type, the 
entire immigration from China has had the worst and most 
demoralized features of Coolieism. The Burlingame treaty 
specially " reprobated any other than an entirely voluntary 
immigration," and yet from the first Chinaman that came, in' 

Imported and Contract Labor, ■ 121 

1848, to the last one that landed in San Francisco, it is safe 
to say that not one in one hnndred came in an " entirely vol- 
nntary " manner. Up to October 1, 1876, the records of the 
San Francisco custom-honse show that 233,136 Chinese had 
arrived in this conntry and that 93,273 had returned to 
China. The immigration since has been quite large, and 
allowing for returns and deaths, the best statistics I can pro- 
cure show that about 109,000 Chinese are in California and 
from 20,000 to 25,000 in the adjacent Pacific States and Ter- 

Of this large population fully nine tenths are adult males. 
The women have not in all numbered over seven thousand, 
and, according to all accounts, they are impure and lewd far 
beyond the Anglo-Saxon conception of impurity and lewd- 
ness. One of the best-informed Californians I ever met says 
tliat not one score of decent and pure women could ever 
have been found in the whole Chinese immigration. It is 
only in the imagined, rather I hope the unimagined, feculence 
and foulness of Sodom and Gomorrah that any parallel can 
be found to the atrocious nastiness of the Chinese quarter of 
San Francisco. I speak of this from abounding testimony — 
largely from those who have had personal opportunity to 
study the subject in its revolting details. In the entire 
Chinese population of the Pacific coast scarcely one family is 
to be found; no hearthstone of comfort, no fireside of joy; 
no father nor mother, nor brother nor sister ; no child reared 
by parents ; no domestic and ennobling influences ; no ties 
of affection. The relation of wife is degraded beyond all 
tlescription, the females holding and dishonoring that sacred 

122 Words of James Gr, Blame. 

name being sold and transferred from one man to another, 
without shame and witliout fear ; one woman being at the 
same time the wife to several men. Many of these women 
came to San Francisco under written contracts for prostitu- 
tion, openly and shamelessly entered into. I have myself 
read the translation of some of these abominable documents. 
If as a nation we have the right to keep out infectious 
diseases, if we have the right to exclude the criminal chisses 
from coming to us, we surely possess the right to exclude 
that immigration whicli reeks with impurity and which cannot 
come to us without plenteously sowing the seeds of moral 
and physical disease, destitution, and death. 


The Chinese immigration to California began with the 
American immigration in 1848. The two races have been 
side by side for more than thirty years, nearly an entire gen- 
eration, and not one step toward assimilation has been taken. 
The Chinese occupy their own peculiar quarter in the city, 
adhere to their own dress, speak their own language, 
worship in their own heathen temples, and, inside the muni- 
cipal law and independent of it, administer a code among 
themselves, even pronouncing the death penalty and execut- 
ing it in criminal secrecy. If this were for a year only, or 
for two or five or even ten years, it might be claimed that 
more time was needed for domestication and assimilation ; 
but this has been going on for an entire generation and the 
Chinaman to-day approaches no nearer to our civilization 
than he did when the Golden Gate first received him. In 

Imported and Contract Labor, 123 

sworn testimony before an investigating committee of Con- 
gress, Dr. Mears, tlie health officer of San Francisco, 
described as " a careful and learned man,' ' testified that the 
condition of the Chinese quarter is " horrible, inconceivably 
horrible ! " He stated that the Chinese as a rule " live in 
large tenement-houses, large numbers crowded into individ- 
ual rooms, without proper ventilation, with bad drainage, 
and underground, with a great deal of filth, the odors from 
Avhich are horrible." He described their " mode of taking a 
room ten feet high and putting a flooring half-way to the 
ceiling, both floors being crowded at night with sleepers. 
In these crowded dens cases of small-pox were concealed 
from the police." '' They live underground in bunks. The 
topography of that portion of Chinadom is such that you 
enter a house sometimes and think that it is a one-story 
house and you will find two or three stories down below on 
the side of the hill, where they live in great filth." Anotlier 
close and accurate observer, a resident of California, says: 
" The only wonder is that desolating pestilences have not 
ensued. Small-pox has often been epidemic, and could 
always be traced to Chinese origin. The Chinese quarter 
was once occupied by shops, churches, and dwellings of 
Americans. Now these are as thoroughly Mongolian as any 
part of Canton. All other races flee from the contact." 
Dr. Mears further testified and gave many revolting details 
in proof that the Chinese " are cruel and indiff'erent to their 
sick." He described cases of Chinese lepers at the city hos- 
pital : " Their feet dropped off by dry gangrene and their 
hands were wasted and attenuated. Their finger-nails 

124 Words of James Gr. Blaine. 

dropped off." He said the Chinese were gi-adually working 
eastward and would by-aiid-by crowd into Eastern cities, 
where the conditions under which they live in San Francisco 
would produce, in the absence of its climatic advantages, 
destructive pestilence." Perhaps a Chinese quarter in 
Boston, with forty thousand Mongolians located somewhere 
between the south end and the north end of the city and 
separating the two would give Mr. Garrison some new views 
as to the power and right of a nation to exclude moral and 
physical pestilence from its borders. In San Francisco there 
is no hot weather, the thermometer rarely rising above 65°. 
One of the most intelligent physicians in the United States 
says -that the Chinese quarter of San Francisco transferred 
to Saint Louis, Chicago, Cincinnati, or any Eastern city, 
would in a hot summer breed a plague equal to the " black 
death " that is now alarming the civilized world. When 
Mr. Garrison says the immigration of Englishmen, Irishmen, 
Scotchmen, Frenchmen, Germans, and Scandinavians, must 
be put on the same footing as the Chinese Coolies, he con- 
founds all distinctions, and, of course without intending it, 
libels almost the entire white population whose blood is 
inherited from the races he names. All the immio-ration 
from Europe to-day assimilates at once with its own blood 
on this soil, and to place the Chinese Coolies on the same 
footing is to shut one's eyes to all the instincts of human 
nature and all the teachings of history. 


Is it not inevitable that a class of men living in this 
degraded and filthy condition, and on the poorest of food, 

Imported and Contract Labor. 


can work for less than the American laborer is entitled to 
receive for his daily toil? Put the two classes of labor side 
by side and the cheap servile labor pulls down the more 
manly toil to its level. The free white laborer never could 
compete with slave labor of the South. In the Chinaman 
the white laborer finds only another form of servile competi- 
tion — in some aspects more revolting and corrupting than 
African slavery. Whoever contends for the unrestricted 
immigration of Chinese Coolies contends for that system of 
toil which blights the prospects of the white laborer — 
dooming him to starvation wages, killing his ambition by 
rendering his struggle hopeless, and ending in a plodding 
and pitiless poverty. Nor is it a truthful answer to say that 
this danger is remote. Remote it may be for Mr. Garrison, 
for Boston, and for New England, but it is instant and 
pressing on the Pacific slope. Already the Chinese male 
adults on that coast are wellnigh as numerous as the white 
voters of California, and it is conceded that a Chinese emi- 
grant can be placed in San Francisco for one half the amount 
required to transport a man from the Mississippi valley to 
the Pacific coast, and for one third what it requires for a 
New Yorker or a New Engiander to reach California or 
Oregon. The late Caleb Cushing, who had carefully studied 
the Chinese question, ever since his mission to Pekin in 1842 
maintained that unless resisted by the United States the 
first general famine in China would be followed by an emi- 
gration to California that would swamp the white race. I 
observe that a New England newspaper — I specially regret 
that such ignorance should be shown in New England — 

12G Words of James G-, Blaine. 

says it is only "a strip" on the Pacific that the Chinaman 
seeks for a home. The Chinese are ah-eady scattered in 
three States and two adjacent Territories whose area is 
larger than the original Thirteen Colonies. California alone 
is larger than New England, New York, Pennsylvania, and 
Ohio, and is capable of maintaining a vast population of 
Anglo-Saxon freemen if we do not surrender it to Chinese 

Before the same committee of investigation from whose 
report I have already quoted, Mr. T. W. Jackson, a man of 
high character, who had traveled extensively in the East, 
testified that his stroma belief was "that if the Chinese felt 
that they were safe and had a firm footing in California they 
would come in enormous numbers, because the population of 
China is practically inexhaustible." Such, indeed, is the 
unbroken testimony of all who are entitled to express an 
opinion. The decision of Congress on this matter therefore 
becomes of the very last importance. Had it been in favor 
of Chinese immigration, with the encouragement and protec- 
tion which would liave that implied, it requires no vivid imagi- 
nation to foresee that the great slope between the Sierras and 
the Pacific would become the emigrating ground for the 
Chinese empire. So that I do not at all exaggerate when I 
say that on the adoption or rejection of the policy passed 
upon by Congress hangs the fate of the Pacific slope — 
whether its labor shall be tliat of American freemen or servile 
Mongolians. If Mr. Garrison thinks the interests of his own 
countrymen, his own government, and, in a still larger sense, 
the interests of humanity and civilization, will be promoted 

Imported and Contract Labor. 127 

by giving up the Pacific to Mongoliaii labor, I beg respect- 
fully but firmly to differ from him. There is no ground on 
which we are bound to receive them to our own detriment. 
Charity is the first of Christian graces. But Mr. Garrison 
would not feel obliged to receive into his family a person 
that would physically contaminate or morally corrupt his 
children. As with a family so with a nation: the same 
instinct of self-preservation exists, the same right to prefer 
the interest of our own people, the same daty to exclude 
that which is corrupting and dangerous to the Republic ! 


The outcry that we are violating our treaty obligations is 
without any foundation. The article on emigration in the 
treaty has not been observed by China for a single hour 
since it was made. All the testimony taken on the subject — 
and it has been full and copious — shows conclusively that 
the entire emigration was "under contract"; that the 
Coolies had been gathered together for export and gathered 
as agents in our Western States would gather live-stock for 
shipment. A very competent witness in California, speaking 
to this point, says that 

" On the arrival of the Chinese in California they are 
consigned like hogs to the different Chinese companies, their 
contracts are vised, and the Coolie commences to pay to the 
companies fees to insure care if he is taken sick and his 
return home dead or alive. His return is prevented until 
after his contract has been entirely fulfilled. If he breaks 
his contract the spies of the six companies hunt him to 

128 Words of James Gr. Blaine. 

prevent his returning to China by arrangement with the 
steamship company or their accents in the steamship emph)y 
to prevent his getting a ticket. The agents of the steamslii[) 
companies testified to this same fact. If a ticket is obtained 
for him by others lie is forcibly stopped on the day of sailing 
by employees of the six companies, called ' high-binders,' 
who can always be seen guarding tlie Coolies." 

Mr. Joseph J. Ray, a Philadelphia merchant, long resident 
in China, and a close observer of its emigration, says " that 
tVVo of the Chi4iese who have reached our shores were not 
free agents in their coming. Files of the Hong-Kong news- 
papers from 1861 would supply information regarding the 
'barracoons' at that port, and when the system had become 
too great a scandal, their removal to Macao (a Portuguese 
colony, forty miles distant), in which 'barracoons' the 
Chinese, in every sense prisoners, were retained until their 
shipment to San Francisco, Callao, Havana, etc. These, 
called by courtesy emigrants, were collected from within a 
radius of two to three hundred miles from Canton, and 
consisted of the abjectly poor, who, willing or not, were sold 
to obtain food for their families, or for gambling debts (the 
Chinese, as you are aware, being inveterate gamblers), or 
the scapegraces of the country, fleeing to avoid punish- 

It is of course a mere misuse of terms to call this an 
"entirely voluntary emigration," and yet none other was 
permissible under tlie Burlingame treaty. Our government 
would be clearly justified in disregarding the treaty on the 
single ground that the Chinese government had never re- 

Imported and Contract Labor. 129 

spectecl its provisions. But without any reference to that, 
our government possesses the right to abrogate the treaty if 
it judges that its continuance is " pernicious to the state." 
Indeed, the two pending propositions in the Senate differed 
not in regard to our own right to abrogate the treaty, but 
simply as to whether we should do it in July, 1879, by the 
exercise of our power without further notice to China, or 
whether we should do it in January, 1880, after notifying 
China that we had made up our minds to do it. Nearly 
a year ago Congress by joint resolution expressed its dis- 
content with the existing treaty, and thus clearly gave 
notice to the civilized wT)rld — if notice were needful — of 
the desire and intention of our people. In the late action of 
Congress the opposing proposition — moved as a substitute 
for the bill to which I gave my support — requested the 
President to notify the Emperor of China that Chinese 
immigration is "unsatisfactory and pernicious," and in effect 
if he would not modify the treaty as we desired, then the 
President should notify the emperor that after January 1, 
1880, the United States will "treat the obnoxious stipula- 
tions as at an end." Both propositions — the bill that we 
passed and the substitute that we rejected — assumed alike 
the full right to abrogate the treaty. Whether it were bet- 
ter to abrogate it after last year's joint resolution, or to 
inform the Emperor of China directly that if he would not 
consent to the change "we would make it anyhow," must be 
relegated for decision to the schools of taste and etiquette. 
The first proposition resting on our clear constitutional 
power seemed to me a better mode of proceeding than to ask 

130 Words of James Gr. Blaine. 

the Emperor of China to consent to a modification and 
informing him at the same time that, whether lie consented 
or not, we wouhl on next New Year's day treat '' the obnox- 
ious stipulations as at end." As to the power of Congress to 
do just what has been done no one will entertain a doubt 
who examines the whole question. An admirable summar}- 
of the right and powder is found in an opinion delivered by 
that eminent jurist, Benjamin R. Curtis, when he was a judge 
of the United States Supreme Court. Judge Curtis said: — 
" It cannot be admitted that the only method of escape from 
a treaty is by the consent of the other party to it or a decla- 
ration of war. To refuse to execute a treaty for reasons 
which approve themselves to the conscientious judgment of a 
nation is a matter of the utmost gravity ; hut the fower to do 
so is a prerogative of ivliicli no nation can he deprived without 
deeply affecting its independence. That the people of the 
United States have deprived their gt)vernment of this power 
I do not believe. That it must reside somewhere, and be 
applicable to all cases^ I am convinced, and I feel 7io doidtt 
that it helomj^ to Congress.^^ 


A great deal has been said about the danger to our trade 
if China should resort to some form of retaliation. The 
natural and pertinent retaliation is to restrict American 
immigration to China. Against that we will enter no pro- 
test, and should have no right to do so. The talk about 
China closing her ports to our trade is made only by those 
who do not understand the question. Last year the total 
amount of our exports to all Chinese ports outside of Hong- 

Imported and Contract Labor, 131 

Kong was about 1692,000. I have called Hong-Kong a 
Chinese port, hut every child knows that it is under Britisli 
control, and if we were at war with China to-day Hong- 
Kono- would be as open to us as Liverpool. To speak of 
China punishing us by suspending trade is only the sugges- 
tion of dense ignorance. We pay China an immense bal- 
ance in coin, and probably we always shall do it. But if the 
trade question had the importance which some have erro- 
neously attributed to it, I woidd not seek its continuance by 
permitting a vicious immigration of Chinese Coolies. The 
Bristol merchants cried out that commerce would be ruined 
if England persisted in destroying the slave trade. But 
history does not record that England sacrificed her honor by 
yielding to the cry. 


The enlightened religious sentiment of the Pacific coast 
views with profound alarm the tendency and effect of unre- 
stricted Chinese immigration. The "pastors and delegates of 
the Congregational churches of California" a year since 
expressed their " conviction " that '' the Burlingame treaty 
ought to be so modified hy the general governmeiit as to 
restrict Chinese immigration." Rev. S. V. Blakeslee, editor 
of the oldest religious paper on the Pacific coast, spoke thus 
in an official address: — 

"Moreover, wealthy English and American companies 
have organized great money-making plans for bringing 
millions — it is true — even millions — of these Chinese into 
our State, and into all parts of the Union ; and they have 
sent out emissaries into China to induce the people, by every 

132 Wo7'ds of James G. Blaine, 

true and false story, to migrate here. Already hvo hundred 
avtd fifty thousand have come, of whom one himdred thousand 

" The tendency of all this is tremendously toward evil ; 
toward vice and abomination; toward all opposed to the 
I rue spirit of Americanism, and is very dangerous to our 
morality, to our stability, and to our success as a people and 
a nation. Millions more of these Chinese must come if not 
prevented by any legal, or moral, or mobocratic restraint, 
increasing incalculably by numbers the evils already exist- 
ing, while a spirit of race prejudices and clanship jealousies 
and a conflict of interests must be developed, portending 
possible evil beyond all description." 

In regard to the process of converting and Christianizing 
this people, a missionary who has been in the field since 1849 
testifies that not one in a thousand has even nominally pro- 
fessed a chajige froin heathenism, and that of this small 
number nearly one half had been taught in missionary 
schools in China. The same missionary says : " As they 
c une in still larger numbers they will more effectually sup- 
port each other in their national peculiarities and vices, 
become still more confirmed in heathen immoralities, with 
an influence in every respect incalculably bad." Under what 
possible sense of duty any American can feel that he pro- 
motes Christianity by the process of handing California 
over to heathenism is more than I am able to discover. 


I have heard a good deal about their cheap labor. I do 
not myself believe in cheap labor. I do not believe cheap 

Im2)orted and Contract Labor. 133 

labor should be an object of legislation, and it will not be in 
a republic. You cannot have the wealthy classes in a 
republic where suffrage is universal legislate for cheap 
labor. 1 undertake to repeat that. I say that you cannot 
have the wealthy classes in a republic where suffrage is 
universal legislate in wdiat is called the interest of cheap 
labor. Labor should not be cheap and it should not be 
dear ; it sliould have its share and it will have its share. 
There is not a laborer on the Pacific coast to-day, I say that 
to my honorable colleague — Vvdiose whole life has been 
consistent and uniform in defence and advocacy of the 
interests of the laboi'tng-classes — there is not a laboring- 
man on the Pacific coast to-day who does not feel wounded 
and grieved and crushed by the competition that comes from 
this source. Then the answer is : " Well, are not American 
laborers equal to Chinese laborers ? " I answer that question 
by asking another. Were not free white laborers equal to 
African slaves in the South? When you tell me that the 
Chinaman driving out the free American laborer only proves 
the superiority of the Chinaman, I ask you, Did the African 
slave labor driving out the free white labor from the South 
prove the superiority of slave labor? The conditions are 
not unlike ; the parallel is not complete, and yet it is 
a parallel. It is servile labor ; it is not free labor such as we 
intend to develop and encourage and build up in this 
country. It is labor that comes here under a mortgage. It 
is labor that comes here to subsist on what the American 
laborer cannot subsist on. You cannot work a man who 
must have beef and bread, and would prefer beer, alongside 
of a man who can live on rice. It cannot be done. In all 

134 Words of Ja/mes Gr. Blaine. 

siicli conflicts and in all sucli struggles the result is not to 
bring \ip the man who lives on rice to the beef-and-bread 
standard, but it is to bring down the beef-and-bread man to 
the rice standard. Slave labor degraded free labor ; it took 
outfits respectability; it put an odious cast upon it. It 
throttled the jDrosperitj of a fine and fair portion of the 
United States ; and a worse than slave labor will throttle 
and impair the prosperity of a still finer and fairer section (;!' 
the United States. We can choose here to-day whether our 
legislation shall be in the interest of the American free 
laborer or for the servile laborer from China. 

I feel and know that I am pleading the cause of the free 
American laborer and of his children and of his children's 
children. It has been well said that it is the cause of " the 
house against the hovel ; of the comforts of the freeman 
against the squalor of the slave." It has been charged that 
my position would arraign labor-saving machinery and con- 
demn it. This answer is not only superficial: it is also 
absurd. Labor-saving machinery has multiplied the power 
to pay, lias developed new wants, and has continually 
enlarged the area of labor and constantly advanced the 
wages of the laborer. But servile toil has always dragged 
free labor to its lowest level and has stripped it of one 
muniment after another until it was helpless and hopeless. 
Whenever that condition comes to the free laborer of 
America, the Republic of equal rights is gone, and we shall 
live under the worst of oligarchies — that of mere wealth, 
whose profit only measures the wretchedness of the unpaid 
toilsmen that produce it. 



Wc <leman(l a restoration of our navy to its ol'ltime strength and efficiency, that it 
may in any sea protect the rigiits of American citizens and interests of American com- 
merce, and we call upon Congress to remove the burdens under which American ship- 
ping has been depressed, so that it may again be a truth that we have a commerce 
which leaves no sea unexplored, and a navy which takes no hiw from superior force.— 
liepublican Platform, 1884. 

[Selections from speeches delivered in the Senate, January 22, 1879, and January 27, 

In any remarks I shall make on the naval appropriation 
bill, Mr. President, I desire to say in advance that neither in 
word nor spirit 


of the navy department either present or past, and still less 
do I intend by the remotest possible implication to make any 
reflection upon the gallant corps of officers that make up 
the navy of the United States. I have no desire nor have I 
any grounds to reflect on either, and if I reflect on any 
department of the government it will be on that of which I 
have had the honor to form a part for a considerable number 
of years. If there be any fault to be criticised, if there be 
any practice to be reformed, if there be any reorganization 
that is desirable and demanded, it is for Congress to do it ; 
and if it should have been made before, it is the fault of 

136 Words of James Gr. Blaine. 

Congress not to have made it, and not the fault of either 
secretary, or bureau chief, or line, or staff, or warrant-officer, 
in the navy. 

At the same time, I must speak my mind very freely about 
what I consider 


and first and especially about the large number of officers the 
navy contains. We have limited the navy by law to 7,500 
men, and for those 7,500 men, taking in commissioned 
officers of staff and line and warrant-officers, and not count- 
ing the retired list of course, which should not be brought 
into discussion, we have a total of 2,020 officers, or we have 
to-day one officer to three men and a fraction in the navy. 
That is excessive. I should infer so without any knowledge 
on the subject, and of course as to the organization of the 
navy I do not profess to know much; but T should infer on 
the mere statement that it was excessive ; and to prove that 
it must be excessive, I have here the last register of the 
British navy. Our navy, as I have said, is limited to 7,500 
men. We have in all in the navy to-day ninety-one vessels. 
We have thirty-eight to-day, I believe, in commission, as the 
term is, and we have, as I have already remarked, 2,020 officers. 
Take the British navy, which has 320 steam-vessels of war and 
a total, including all that belongs to the navy, of 494 vessels. 
They have 4,990 officers, with something over 60,000 men, in 
the navy. They have available for naval service more than 
five times the vessels in number and far more than that pro- 
portion in effective force ; and while they have between nine 

The Navy and the Merchant 3farme. 137 

and ten times as many sailors as we have, "they have less than 
twice and a half the number of officers. Or, if you choose to 
take it in another form, throwing out the warrant-officers 
and taking simply the officers of the line, rejecting the staff, 
Ave show a total of about 800, and counting the cadets, who 
are counted also in the British computation, we show about 
1,000, and tlie Britisli show against that about 2,300. 

The comparison is quite as discouraging if we look at the 
French navy, which has a total number of line officers of 
1,529 ; and I also hold the French naval register in my hand, 
or a book which contains tlie statistics. The French navy, 
in point of number of vessels, is almost as large as the 
British navy. Of course, we all know that it is not so 
efi^ctive, but it is many times as large as ours, and yet the 
line officers of the navy of France are not more than double 
the line officers of the navy of the United States, possibly a 
shade more than double. I infer that tliese facts are worthy 
of our attention. I infer that we are having a navy far more 
numerous in the department of officers than we require to 
the number of ships or the number of men to which Ave ha\"e 
limited it by laAV. 

Take the navy-yards. For the immense navy of Great 
Britain, the largest and most effective in the world, there, 
are in the AAdiole island tAvo great navy-yards, Chatham and 
Portsmouth, and two subordinate ones at Sheerness and 
Devonport, making in all four. The French navy has three 
principal yards, Cherbourg, Brest, and Toulon, and two 
subordinate ones at Rochefort and Lorient. We have on 
this coast, from latitude 37° to latitude 43°, on six degrees 

138 Words of James Gr. Blaine, 

of coast latitude, seven navy-yards. We have one at Wash- 
ington, one at Norfolk, one at Philadelphia, one at New 
York, one in posse if not in esse at New London, one at 
Charlestown, and one at Kittery or Portsmouth. Of course, 
that is beyond all possible requirement of our navy. We 
have one at Pensacola, which it is presumed is necessary to 
retain for the Gulf uses, and certainly the one on the Pacific 
coast is absolutely essential; but that any person can infer 
tliat on six degrees of our coast latitude we need seven navy- 
yards is a vast stretch of imagination. 

I might have said, when I was disclaiming any possible 
intention of either arraigning the civil department of the 
navy or the line officers tliemselves, that I have no inten- 
tion of 


and still less any intention of making any partisan confes- 
sion. I do not desire to inculpate either party or to excul- 
pate either, and so far as all these navy-yards except the 
shadowy one at New London are concerned, they opme down 
to us from '' the good old days of Democratic economy." 
We inherited them, and Ave inherited one more which we 
have abandoned ; that is the one at Memphis. That was a 
brilliant streak of economy, of course, to put a navy-yard 
at Memphis, 800 or 1,000 miles from the mouth of the Miss- 
issippi River. The old story went that the navy-yard at 
Memphis was put through Congress because the two rival 
candidates for governor in Tennessee, preceding the great 
contest of 1844 between Mr. Clay and Mr. Polk, both came 
here, and the Democrat said to a Democratic Congress ; " If 

The Navy and the Flerchatit Marme. 139 

you do not put this uavy-yard through, I am dead " : and the 
Whig candidate said ; '' If you Whigs do not vote for it, it 
will kill us at home." And so they got a pretty nearly 
unanimous vote for the Memphis navy-yard. And they mio-ht 
as well have put one above the Falls of Saint Anthony. It 
went on in a sort of sickly condition for ten, fifteen, or 
twenty years, not being finally dismantled until the war. 

There is, of course, a vast and useless expenditure in tlie 
navy-yards, and a larger and overwhelming expenditure in 
that de[vartment which we do not at any event need. 

And when you come to the pay of the navy, of course it 
shows just this proportion. If you liave officers you must 
pay them, and the pay of navy officers in the bill which 
is now before tlie Senate is for officers in commission 
13,822,875, for retired officers 1645,400, and for some other 
civilian attaches that come under the head of officers, em- 
braced in the fifty-third line and lines following, 1475,000, 
making a total of 14,943,275, or of round numbers five 
million d dlars. Next as to the men. For the petty officers, 
seamen, ordinary seamen, landsmen, and boys, including men 
in the engineer force and for the coast-survey service, for all 
that are included in any form direct or indirect in the navy, 
we pay $2,300,000 ; so that of what is called the pay of the 
navy more than two thirds, nearly five sevenths, are required 
for officers, showing of course the top-heavy condition that 
the register shows in regard to the navy. 

From the Naval Academy for the last fourteen years since 
the war we have 

140 Words of James Cr. Blaine, 


to the navy and we are continuing to do it. The rule now 
is the very same that it is at West Point or was until last 
year Ave had some legislation upon the subject, that any boy 
who graduates at the Naval Academy after being duly 
appointed shall be commissioned as an officer in the navy. 
That was so in regard to West Point until the legislation of 
last year. Congress by a pretty nearly unanimous vote in 
both branches has decided in regard to the graduates at 
West Point that those only shall be appointed to offices in the 
army for whom there are vacancies at the time of gradua- 
tion. I think that ought to be tlie case in regard to the 
navy ; if not, you are liable to add from fifty to seventy-five 
officers annually to our navy, and there is no limit now fixed 
by law at all to the lower grade. We fix the limit down to 
ensigns, but for midshipmen there is no limit at all, and you 
may pile in midslnpmen until they are there by the thousand 
for that matter if you take time enough, and at tlie rate at 
which retirement or death thins out the upper grades of the 
navy you will find such a disparity between the incoming 
and the outgoing as must lead to a steady annual increase in 
the officers of the navy. 

Now, I ask simply that, after 1883, graduation at tlie Naval 
Academy shall not of itself entitle a man to be commissioned 
in tlie navy, but that only such number shall be commis- 
sioned for whom there are vacancies in the navy at the time, 
leaving the academic board to determine that on the merit 
of the graduates. I put it at 1883, just as last year the 
legislation respecting West Point was put at 1882, for the 

The Navy and tlie Merchant Marine. 141 

simple reason that the boys wlio have been appointed to the 
Naval Academy, just as those who were appointed to West 
Point went there with the understanding and, if you choose, 
with the pledge, from the United States that, upon gradua- 
tion, they should be appointed to office, and I certainly 
would not break the faith of the United States to the naval 
cadet, but let every one who has been entered with that 
understanding under the law have its full benefit; but if you 
make the law now for the next year, the naval cadet who 
enters understands from that day that his entrance upon 
the naval list of the United States depends upon the merit 
of his graduation, and that only those shall be selected from 
the graduating-class for whom there are vacancies at the 

It seems to me that this is entirely just, and in the case of 
West Point, and of the Naval Academy also, I do not think 
it will be any harm to graduate a very large number who are 
not entered in the army or navy. They will have no ground 
to find fault certainly. They will have received great 
educational advantages as a gratuit}^ from their government; 
the}' are equipped for the battle of life ; and if ever the 
government has need of their services, as it unfortunately 
did in a recent era, they will come in the futnre as they did 
in the past — for there was a very small number of graduates 
at West Point that did not find their way into the army, on 
one side or the other, during the late war ; and so it will be 
in the future. You will have a military knowledge spread 
throughout the country, and, no matter how many shall 
graduate there at the public expense under the present 

142 Words of James G-. Blame. 

organization, let only those be put upon the regular army 
list wlio stand liighest, and who are for the time being needed 
to fill vacancies actually existing. 

Mr. President, of course I would not do a harsh thing to 
the naval* officers. I have no proposition to make except 
that a naval board composed of officers themselves shall tell 
us what we ought to do. I would not turn out an officer 
who had a good record, and who had devoted the best years 
of his life to the service of the United States, but by retire- 
ment, made larger than it noAV is by some form which is 
easily to be devised by men who take the subject into con- 
sideration, we can bring down our men to the proper propor- 
tion of officers and men ; and we can, by dispensing with 
the surplus number, and by dispensing with useless navy- 
yards, and in other ways, reduce the naval expenses of this 
country by a very large figure. 

And then, connected with this, and of more interest to 
me than any other part of it, is the fact that we are trying 
the impossible experiment of building a navy from the top. 
It never has been done, and it never will be done in this 
world. You cainiot make a navy by graduating cadets at 
Annapolis. It is in that respect different from an army. 
Our experience in the last war, on botli sides, shows that 
men make good soldiers in three months, and in a year they 
are veterans. That is not the case with the navy. You 
cannot improvise a sailor any more than you can improvise 
a mountain. He has to grow, and you cannot grow him as 
an exotic. You cannot grow a sailor in your navy unless 
there is a surrounding commercial atmosphere, unless there 

The Navy and the llerchant Marine. 143 

is a great mercantile marine that sliall contiiumlly replenish 
it and build it up from the bottom. There never has been 
a navy in this world worth anything that did not grow out 
of a mercantile marine. There never will be. 


the contrast since some of us here entered Congress, the 
contrast since the beginning of the war with the present 
time, is very startling. When we needed a blockade from 
the mouth of the Rio Grande to the capes of the Delaware 
we had 70,000 sailors on board our ships. Eight thousand 
sailors were enlisted in one town in my own State, the city 
of Portland; 22,000 sailors were enlisted at Boston. I 
should like any man to get 8,000 sailors enlisted at Portland 
or 22,000 at Boston to-day. They are gone. Our mercantiU' 
marine, by a variety of causes, is swept away, and of tlie 
causes leading to its destruction too much has been attrib- 
uted, in my judgment, to the effects of tlie Avar. The war 
had a great deal to do with it ; but had that been simply the 
cause we would have recovered fi'om it, for its effect was in 
its nature temporary. But the real cause was deeper and far 
more serious than the four years' war, however serious that 

The war only gave an opportunity to our rivals. If there 
had not been new conditions, we should have been able, after 
the war, to have recovered ourselves. But those new con- 
ditions were and are to-day, as has been rej)eated here over 
and over ao-ain on this side of the chamber and on that : 


those conditions are that the commerce of the world has 

144 Words of James Gr. Blaine. 

entirely changed, and you might just as well attempt to arm 
your soldiers with bows and arrows as to rebuild the mer- 
cantile marine of the United States by a mere increase of 
sailing-vessels. The marine of the future, more and more 
every day, is a steam marine, and we who stand here fur- 
nishing a larger amount of freight than any other country in 
the world — I was going to say any other two countries; 
I doubt if there be any two countries in the world that 
furnish as large an amount of ocean freight as the United 
States — we stand here to-day gaining nothing whatever out 
of that, or so little that it only serves to "point the moral." 
We furnished last year 13,000,000 tons of ocean freight, and 
the profit on carrying that and the passengers that belong to 
the sea was 1115,000,000. 

Mr. Thurman. Does that include the coasting trade? 

Mr. Blaine. No; Avholly foreign. It all went from our 
shores and came back. That which goes of course is more 
bulky when you measure it by tons than that which comes. 

Mr. Eaton. Over .^80,000,000 in gold was paid into the 
pockets of foreign shipowners. 

Mr. Blaine. My friend anticipates me in that. Nearly 
189,000,000 out of '1115,000,000 was so paid inlo foreign 
hands; I believe only 126,000,000 into ours; and that has 
been going on and is going on and will continue to go on 
unless the United States does something that shall change it. 
And we cannot afford not to change it. I say to the honor- 
able chairman of the committee of finance that unless con- 
ditions that we dare not anticipate should continue to favor 
us, it is not a possible thing in this country to maintain over 

The Navy and the Merchant Marine. 145 

a long series of years specie payment here with that draught 
made upon upon our resources, and with that draught 
stopped specie payment will maintain itself. Gentlemen 
here remember the panic of 1857, how it smote the country, 
how it went over the continent with the force and violence 
of a tornado, prostrating great mercantile houses and man- 
ufacturing and commercial interests, and yet inside of ninety 
days from the suspension of specie payment the banks of 
New York, Baltimore, and all the great cities of the country 
resumed. Why were they able to resume specie payment 
after that disastrous panic ? Simply because the freight 
moneys that lay to the credit of American commerce in Lon- 
don were gold to be called on by those who here needed it 
for the resumption of specie payments, and the gold that was 
deposited in London to the credit of American shipmasters 
and American shipowners was the very gold on which the 
banks of this country resumed in 1858, and that is the gold 
that we do not have to-day. We should have had no need, we 
should have been under no necessity, of selling bonds to buy 
gold to resume specie payments, if our fair share of the freight 
moneys on our own commerce had been coming into our 
coffers. Eighty-nine million dollars went last year into the 
coffers of Europe on American freight ; less than 126,000,000 
came here. Give us our fair share, and specie payment, I 
repeat, will maintain itself. 

Take a 1500,000 ship ; a ship of about 3,000 or 3,500 tons, 
and a steamship of that size first-class, fully equipped for 
freight and passengers, costs just about a half-million of dol- 

146 Words of James G. Blaine. 

lars. There is not a single thing that goes into that ship 
from the time her keel is laid nntil she is ready for sea 


and that is not produced in this country except tin — the 
few dollars worth of tin in her. 

Mr. Dorsey,. We have tin in California. 

Mr. Blaine. I am corrected. I am told that California 
produces tin. But you may take all the hundred things that 
go into that vessel and they are all produced in this country, 
from the tree in the forest to the ore in the mine ; and what 
does my honorable friend from Connecticut, who knows more 
of statistics than I do, say is the value of the raw material, 
and when you get that 1500,000 ship ready for the sea what 
part of her represents actual material and what part labor ? 
There is five thousand dollars' worth of material in her, and 
four hundred and ninety-five thousand dollars' worth of 
labor. Begin with the iron in the ore and the wood in the 
tree, and you have only five thousand dollars' worth of 
material in a thirty-five-hundred-ton ship, and every particle 
of the remainder has been produced and inwrought and up- 
built by American labor, and I understand my friend from 
Connecticut to insist that we had better have that (|495,000 
expended on the other side. 

Three fourths, I do not know but I may overstate it, but 
certainly one half, the report of the secretary of the navy is 


and a very able report it is. It does him honor. I certainly 
am not out of order in discussing on the naval bill that to 

The Navy and the Met chant Marine. 147 

which the head of the department hmiself devotes so hirge 
a portion of his report. I say again, that what may be saved 
out of the naval appropriation will do that which I have 
already adverted to for American commerce. We do not 
show any of this, can I call it stinginess ? in any other depart- 
ment. We have given 200,000,000 acres of public land to 
railroads ; we have given ^^60,000,000 in money ; and taking 
the value of those lands and the value of that money, and 
adding them together, it is safe to say that we have endowed 
railroads in this country with -^500,000,000. 

From 1846 to 1871 the Congress of the United States 
passed ninety-one acts for promoting the building of rail- 
roads. There has not been mucli legislation since 1871. 
There has been a reaction against the policy, but from 1846 
to 1871, I repeat, a period of twenty-five years, the Congress 
of the United States passed ninety-one different acts and 
endowed the railroad system of this country with 1500,000,- 
000 of money, and that 1500,000,000 of money produced 
more than -15,000,000,000 of money in this country. My 
judgment is that the Congress of the United States, in 
everything they did in that respect, did wisely. They cheap- 
ened freights. Clinton's Ditch, as it used to be called, was 
sneered at when it was an experiment, but the minute the 
water was let into it it reduced the freights that had been 
'flOO from Buffalo to New York doAvn to t7 a ton; and it is 
not an exaggeration to say that at that day, before railroads 
were among us, the water that was let in from Lake Erie to 
that canal added 1100,000,000 to the value of the farms west 
of it. 

148 Words of James Gr. Blaine. 

As individuals, cities, towns, counties. States, a nation, we 
have exerted ourselves to the utmost point of enterprise and 
vigor to build up railroads. We have a system 


and with great trunk lies threading the continent north, 
south, east, and Avest, in every direction. The very moment 
we reach the ocean limit, we seem to think we have done 
our duty, and that when we have got transportation to that 
point it no longer interests us, and we can safely give that 
over to the foreigner. Why, from Chicago to Liverpool is 
one direct line. I wonder how it would sound if Mr. Van- 
derbilt, who is running a line of steamships manned by 
foreign men, commanded by foreign officers, built in foreign 
yards, whose money earnings go entirely outside of this 
country, were to apply that to' the New York Central Rail- 
road and select all tlie brakeman and switchmen and conduc- 
tors and tenders and officers on the Central Railroad from 
foreigners; to put all the locomotives on it that are made in 
England ; to let all its earnings be exported. Such a policy 
would not be one particle more detrimental and destructive 
to the interests of this country than for us, when that 
Central Railroad had touched salt water, with all the 
countless products of the fertile West, to give up all the 
profits of participation in the transportation of them beyond. 
From Chicago to Liverpool is a route of four thousand miles. 
We operate one thousand miles of it and give three thousand 
miles to the foreigner. 

The Navy and the Merchant Marine. 149 


were not so squeamish on this subject. They were not afflicted 
with theories ; they were intensely practical, and after the peace 
of 1815 following the war of 1812 our commerce ran ahead of 
Great Britain's to such an extent that absolute alarm seized 
England. During the administration of John Quincy Adams, 
in a single year of the commerce between this country and 
Europe, one hundred and forty-five millions were carried in 
American vessels and only fourteen millions in those of 
other nations. The commerce amounted to about one hun- 
dred and sixty millions, and American vessels carried one 
hundred and forty-five millions of it ; and I beg the Senator 
from Connecticut to remember that then in Parliament, and 
then through all their chambers of commerce, and then 
throughout all the commercial agencies of Great Britain, an 
agitation was made that they would import free ships from 
America. They did not do it. They concluded that that 
would be their utter and final ruin, and that they never 
could catch up with us if they did that, and they resisted it ; 
and they resisted it up to the point and until the time when 
they had got so far ahead by aid from government, by the 
upbuilding of a great commerce, that they could successfully 
defy and laugh at competition. Then came in their free- 
shipping act ; and the policy which the Senator from Con- 
necticut invites us to to-day is precisely that which free- 
traders in this country on looking at England will find that 
she took into consideration and condemned and rejected in 
1827 and 1828, and the English marine would never have 

150 Words of James G. Blaine. 

been wliat it is to-day had they not at that time stood jnst 
where we ought to stand to-day. 

I referred to 1817, to the generation that immediately pre- 
ceded us ; and I address my remarks to that side of the 
chamber, because they claim a more distinct inheritance 
from the Jefferson and Madison and Monroe era. Mr. 
Monroe in 1817 had just come to the presidency. We had 
passed an act which, if it were passed to-day, would revive 
American commerce with such a rapidity and thrill as wouhl 
astonisli people on both sides of the water. We passed an 
act providing that the products of no country should come 
into the United States except in American vessels or in the 
vessels of the producing country, and we held it there for 
years and years. These triangular voyages that sap the life 
out of our commerce could not be made under that law. 

Then again, when you say that we are 


in competition witli foreign ships, and that we can get other 
ships cheaper if we will thrcAV open the registry, do not my 
friends from Connecticut and Kentucky both see that if that 
be the necessity of to-day it will be far more the necessity to- 
morrow? It will be a much greater necessity the next day; 
and it will continue to be so much a necessity that in the 
course of a very short time the art of shipbuilding in this 
country will have been lost. 

Senators talk to us about what the nations of Europe do, 
and say that Germany gets her ships from England and that 

TJie Navy and the Merchant Marine. 151 

other nations get them from abroad. There are but two 
great naval powers in the world, or able to be great naval 
powers. The United States and Great Britain are the naval 
powers of this world ; and the idea that with a continent con- 
taining the resources we have, with a population possessing 
the skill we do, with all the traditions and all the induce- 
ments that surround and govern the case, a Senator can rise 
in the American Senate and propose that the American flag 
be struck and that foreigners be invited to build our ships, 
and that we in turn agree to be dependent on them for a 
navy as well as for commerce, is a most extraordinary spec- 
tacle, if I may use the phrase. 


on this subject, and I shall take the privilege of bringing 
the Senate to some vote that will test its sense on that 
question. My idea is that the government of the United 
States should give to any man or company of men aid from 
the treasury of the United States if he or they shall establish 
and maintain a line of steamships to any foreign port, or I 
might limit it to European, South American, and Asiatic 
ports. I would invite competition from San Francisco, from 
Portland, Oregon, from Galveston, from New Orleans, from 
Mobile, from Savannah, Charleston, Wilmington, Norfolk, 
Baltimore, New York, Boston, Portland, and everywhere. 
I would let all come in who can sustain it. The touchstone 
is what will be sustained by the trade, and that you can 
safely leave to the instinct and to the knowledge of Amer- 
ican commercial men. 

152 Words of James Gr. Blaine. 

■ There is no reason in the world why Savannah, that 
caused the first ship by steam to be sent across the Atlantic, 
I believe, going from her port and bearing her name, should 
not be a great seaport. There is certainly no reason why a 
very great foreign trade should not be concentrated at New 
Orleans. Some might try that could not probably sustain the 
enterprise, but there are various points throughout the 
country on our ocean-front that would maintain with vigo]-, 
with success, and with pride to themselves and the country 
great lines of steamships to all the foreign ports in the world. I 
am radical on the question. I do not suppose the American 
Congress would go so far as I would, for I would certainly 
vote directly for the revival of the act of 1817, and I would 
write as the law of America for the present that the products 
of any country should come to the United States either in 
vessels of the exporting country or in our own. If that 
sounds like unfriendly legislation, if it sounds like extreme 
legislation, if it involves some contradiction of the policy of 
the last twenty-five or thirty years, let it be said that 
we are legislating for an extreme case, and extreme cases 
require extreme remedies. 

We carried five sevenths of the American commerce when 
the war broke out. We do not carry one quarter to-day, and 
if we come out of the deep abyss of humiliation that we are 
in, we will come out of it by vigorous and strong-nerved 
and daring legislation, if you please. I would open it to all 
the business of the country, but I would put the race 
between American skill and the skill of all the Avorld, with 
the utmost possible confidence that, sustained by this gov- 

The Navy and the Mercha^it Marine. 153 

eminent in the race, we would win. It is in our people. 
With an equal chance we can beat them. But. with the 
present condition of things, a hope for the revival of American 
commerce is as idle a liope as ever entered the brain of an 
insane man. Our trade is falling off one or two per cent, per 
annum as we stand to-day. It was less this year than it was 
last. It was less last year than it was the year before. It 
will be less next year than this. 


that can in any manner engage the attention of the American 
Senate that is more worthy of their serious consideration and 
their deep deliberation than this. It is more far-reaching 
than any question before us, for I repeat, as I intimated, 
that with this steady drain out of us, this drain of $85,000,000 
a year, in gold coin, this country cannot expect with con- 
fidence to maintain a specie basis. An adverse crop, a bad 
year, a balance of trade against us, and Avith the whole com- 
mercial marine in the hands of foreigners, we put specie pay- 
ment and American solvency and American prosperity to a 
test that I shall grieve to see applied, and the result of which 
would be, I fear, most disastrous. 

We voted 11,500,000 for the navy without thinking. 
Anything that gets in the rut of an appropriation goes easily. 
You voted money this year because you did last; we will 
vote it next year because we did this. Bayard Taylor used 
to tell a funny story to the effect that in the Russian budget 
there appeared every year fifty rubles for goosegrease for 
the prince's nose. He said that one hundred and fifty years 

154 Words of James G-. Blaine. 

ago tliere was a sore nose on one of the princes, and goose- 
grease was prescribed for it, and so fifty rubles came into 
the budget; and although a sore nose has not since been 
known in the royal family the fift}^ rubles have been annually 
appropriated. Our appropriations run on in the same rut, 
and we need a stirring up from the bottom and a wholesome 

When I speak thus I speak, I am sure, as a friend of the 
navy. I come from the portion of the country that feels 
great interest in and great sympathy with the navy. But 
a navy cannot be maintained as a fancy attachment to the 
government. The navy must have uses. The United 
States steam-frigate Tennessee has just returned from a three 
years' cruise. I sent to the navy department, and regret 
that I cannot have it in time to read it here to-day, for a 
statement of the expenses of that three years' cruise. I 
might be wild probably if I should venture to give the 
figures without the data ; and therefore I will not do so ; but 
I venture to say that it will surprise every member of the 
Senate. And I venture to say that on all that long three 
years' cruise, in all the waters, in all the oceans, on all the 
shores, the rarest thing the Tennessee met in her travels 
was an American ship, and almost the only flag she saw 
bearing the Stars and Stripes was at her own masthead. 

We want a navy, but we want something for it to do. 
We want a navy to protect the commerce, but we want a 
commerce in advance for the navy to protect, and we want 
a commerce that shall not be one of favoritism, a commerce 
that shall not benefit one section at the expense of another, 

The Navy and the Merchant Marine, 155 

but one that shall be equal and just and generous and profit- 
able to all. You will never get it by making this nation a 
tributary to Great Britain. You will never get it by banish- 
ing the art of shipbuilding from among our people. You 
\yill never get it by discouraging all possible aspirations for 
maritime and commercial supremacy, by a public proclama- 
tion from Congress that after nearly a century of gallant 
struggle, in which more tJian three quarters of the time we 
were ahead in the race, on account of an accidental mishap 
that put us behind we of to-day, not having the nerve or the 
sagacity of those who went before us, sank before the pros- 
pect and asked other nations to do for us what we have lost 
the manhood and the energy to do for ourselves. 


Mr. PiiESiDENT : If the Senate will indulge me I should 
like a few moments, not to reply with any elaboration to 
what the Senator from Kentucky has said, but to speak very 
briefly on the various points suggested by him. I should 
not like to have such a speech as he has delivered go out 
from the Senate of the United States unanswered for a single 
day, and I propose, therefore, to review his position at least 
in part. I regret that I am compelled to speak without 
preparation and with no data except such as I recall from 

The first observation I desire to submit is that the honor- 
able Senator from Kentucky very frankly admits, and did 

156 Words of James Gr. Blaine. 

not even attempt to argue against it, that this policy looks 
forward to a permanent 


for her ships. The only slight attempt that the Senator 
made to rebut the conclusion was in the faint hope expressed 
by him that the repair-shops which would grow up on this 
side of the water might dcA^elop into machine-shops and ship- 
yards large enough and numerous enough to construct steam 
vessels ; but throughout the entire argument of the Senator 
he went upon the presumption, which I repeat he did not 
even attempt himself to rebut, that his policy looked to a 
proclaimed and a permanent dependence of this country 
upon England for a merchant marine. I do not believe the 
Senate of the United States or the Congress of the United 
States or the people of the United States are prepared to 
make that declaration. 

It is a fact equally remarkable that for the past twenty- 
five years — or make it only for the past twenty years, from 
the beginning of the war to this hour — the Congress of the 
United States has not done one solitary thing to uphold the 
navigation interests of the United States. Decay has been 
observed going on steadily from year to year. The 
great march forward of our commercial rival of old has been 
witnessed and everywhere recognized, and the representa- 
tives of the people of the United States have sat in their two 
houses of legislation as dumb as though they could not 
speak, and have not offered a single remedy or a single aid. 
As this has gone on until now the Senator from Kentucky 

The Navy and the Merchant Marine, 157 

rises in his seat and proposes to make a proclamation of 
perpetual future dependence of this country upon England 
for such commerce as she may enjoy, holding up as models 
to us Germany, Italy, and the other European countries 
that are as absolutely dependent upon Great Britain for 
what commerce they enjoy as the District of Columbia is for 
its legislation upon the Congress of the United States. 
During these years, in which 


to do one thing for the foreign commerce of this country, 
for all that vast external transportation whose importance 
the Senator from Kentucky has not exaggerated but has 
strongly depicted, the same Congress has passed ninety-two 
acts in aid of internal transportation by rail; has given 
200,000,000 acres of the public lands, worth to-day a 
thousand million dollars in money, and has added $70,000,- 
000 in cash, and yet, I repeat, it has extended the aid of 
scarcely a single dollar to build up our foreign commerce. 
An energetic and able man who found a great ocean high- 
way unoccupied, and had the enterprise to put American 
vessels of the best construction and great power upon it, has 
been held up to scorn and to reproach because he came to 
the American Congress and said : " If you will do for this line 
what the empire of Brazil will do, I will give you a great line 
of steamships from New York to Rio Janeiro." The empire 
of Brazil had said to this enterprising man : " We will pay 
you a hundred thousand dollars a year if you will run this 
line;" and New England Senators, I regret to say, who 

158 Words of James G-. Blaine. 

represent the protective system in this country, said with a 
quiet complacency : '' If Brazil is willing to pay for that, we 
need not." Brazil has got tired paying all and we paying 
none. Just as soon as it was found that we would not pay, 
a combination of English shipbuilders said : " We will put 
on our ships and run that American line off, we will carry 
the coffee of Brazil to the United States for nothing ; we 
will break down this attempt of the United States to begin a 
race upon the ocean ; " and they have pretty nearly suc- 
ceeded, while we have looked on with apparent unconcern, 
and by our indifference favoring the efforts of the English 

Yet during the whole of 


when she has been seeking every line that could be found on 
which a steamer could float, she has never put on lines to 
carry from an American port to any foreign ports, but only 
to her own. You cannot get a British and South American 
steamship line except on the triangular system that will go 
from New York to Liverpool taking breadstuffs or cotton, 
from Liverpool to Rio Janeiro taking British fabrics, from 
Rio Janeiro to New York bringing coffee and dyewoods ; 
but when the proposition is made that they shall go back from 
New York to Rio, they decline because they do not want to 
interfere with the prosperity of England at home by fur- 
nishing transportation to any point for American fabrics in 
competition with British fabrics. The result is that if this 
Brazilian line shall be taken off, as in all probability it will 

The Navy and the 3Ierehant 3farine. 159 

if the United States extends no aid, then the letters of the 
United States, of the merchants of Noav York and Philadel- 
phia and Baltimore and Boston, will be conveyed to Rio 
Janeiro via Liverpool and reach that point over two great 
lines of British steamships. 

The frank admission of the honorable Senator from 
Kentucky took away a large part of the argument which I 
thought I should have to make, and that was to prove that 
if the United States to-day is incompetent to compete with 
Great Britain in the manufacture of iron ships, and if you 
admit iron ships from Great Britain absolutely free of duty, 
you will be still more incompetent to do it next year. It 
takes, in the language of the trade, what is called a great 
" plant " to build steamships ; it takes a large investment of 
money ; it takes large and powerful machinery ; it requires 
the investment of millions to start with ; and if in addition 
to all that has been done abroad to build up English ship- 
yards we pour into them all the patronage that can come 
from this country, I should like the honorable Senator from 
Kentucky or any other Senator to ,tell me exactly at what 
point of time it will come to pass that any feeble effort on 
this side will begin to compete with those great 3^ards. If 
you abandon it this year because you are unable, you will be 
far more unable next year, you will be still less able the 
year ensuing, and every will add to the monopoly of British 
power in that respect and to the absolute weakness and 
prostration of American power in competition. But I will 
say that the frank admission of the honorable Senator from 
Kentucky of the future and perpetual dependence upon 

16Cr Words of James Gr. Blaine. 

England removes the necessity of arguing that point. He 
frankly admits it with all its damaging force. 


(fas est ah hoste doeeri). Great Britain has been our 
great commercial rival, and since the first Cunard steamship 
came into Boston, just about forty years ago, when Great 
Britain seeing that steam was to play so great and com- 
manding a part in the navigation of the world first made her 
venture, from that time down to the close of 1878, she had 
paid from her treasury to aid great steamship lines all over 
the world a sum exceeding forty million pounds sterling, 
more than two hundred millions of American dollars. I 
know it is a favorite argument Avith those Avho occupy the 
position of the honorable Senator from Kentucky that 
Great Britain started upon this plan and followed it for a 
long period of years, and afterwards abandoned it. Sir, 
she has never abandoned it. She has only abandoned 
its extension to those lines tliat were strong enough 
to go alone, and the British post-office report for the 
year 1879 shows that under the despised and ridi- 
culed head of postal aid, to which the honorable Senator 
from Kentucky was pleased to refer with such sneers, Great 
Britain paid last year c£ 783,000, wellnigh four million 
dollars in coin. 

France gets her steamships from England. France has 
adopted the commercial policy wliich the honorable Senator 
from Kentucky thinks would be the revival of the American 
shipping interest; but does France by the mere fact of 

The Navy and lite Merchant Marine. 161 

getting her ships built at Birkenhead or on the Clyde aban- 
don the plan, which has been for thirty years in operation 
under her government, of aiding her ships ? Why, sir, last 
year France paid 23,000,000 francs — more than four and 
a half million dollars — to aid her steamship lines. And 
when the celebrated line of France, the company known as 
Messageries Imperiale, competed too sharply in the Medi- 
terranean waters after the opening of the Suez Canal, when 
that great French company competed with the Peninsular 
and Oriental Company of England and was likely to endan- 
ger its supremacy by a sharp rivalry, Great Britain promptly 
stepped forward and added £100,000 to the Peninsular and 
Oriental subsidy. That is the way Great Britain has aban- 
doned the idea of aiding her great commercial interests ! 

Italy, that is hemmed in upon a lake, with a territory that 
does not touch either of the great oceans, is running up 
largely in steam-navigation. Italy last year paid 8,000,000 
francs ; and even Austria, that enjoj^s but a single seaport 
on the upper end of tlie Adiiatic, pays §500,000 towards 
stimulating commercial ventures from Trieste. Now the 
United States cannot succeed in this great international 
struggle without adopting exactly the same mode that has 
acheived victory for France. What is it ? It is not to help 
A B or C D or E F or anybody else by name, neither Mr. 
John Roach, nor Mi'. John Doe nor Mr. Richard Roe, but 
to make a great and comprehensive policy that shall give to 
every company a pledge of aid from the government of so 
much per mile for such a term of years. Let the American 
merchants feel that the government of the United States is 

1G2 Words of James G-. Blaine. 

behind them. Let the United States take from her treasury 
per annum the $400,000 that Great Britain is paying as a 
postscript to her 1200,000,000 of investment ; let the United 
States but take $4,000,000 per annum, — and that is not a 
great sum for this opulent country, — let that be used as a 
fund to stimulate any company from any port of the United 
States to any foreign port, and, without being a prophet or 
the son of one, I venture to predict that you will see that 
long-deferred, much-desired event, the revival of the Amer- 
ican merchant marine. 
Let us do one thing more 


for us. We have nine navy-yards without a navy. If we 
Avill put the expense of those navy-yards into the building up 
of great private shipyards, it will form subsidy enough if 
tliat hated word shall not offend the delicate ears of my 
friend from Kentucky; it will afford aid enough, if that be 
more to his taste ; it will give help enough, in conjunction 
with the saving on the construction of naval vessels, to float 
an entire scheme for the revival of American navigation. 

We not only withhold our hands from any possible aid- 
to the American merchant marine, but we keep up the 
sliadow of a shell of a navy on the most expensive })asis that 
ever a navy was attempted to be organized in the world. 
Great Britain, I believe, never had but three navy-yards. 
We support nine. Great Britain's navy is really fifteen 
times as large as ours is nominally. 

Mr. President, we have the largest ocean frontage of any 

Tlie Navy and tlte Merchant Marine. 163 

country on the globe. We front all continents ; we border 
the tAvo great seas and the greatest of gulfs. We are nec- 
essarily by our position in need of a navy. 

The honorable Senator from Kentucky has apparently given 
this subject wide and deep attention, and I should be glad 
in some subsequent effort of his to be informed, after he has 
brought this country to a state of absolute dependence for 
our mercantile marine upon Great Britain, how he pro- 
poses to uphold our navy, how he proposes to build the ves- 
sels, where he is going to get his ship-carpenters ? I do not 
speak of the sailors ; you can get them from outside. How 
is he going to retain among this jiteople and in this people 
the very rudimentary art of shipbuilding for large ocean- 
going steamers when his policy absolutely forbids the remo- 
test prospects of any vessels being built here ? 

I do not expect this Congress to do anything ; I am not 
talking with the slightest hope that that will come about. I 
know it Avill come some time. I know the, scheme of the 
honorable Senator from Kentucky, even if Congress should 
adopt it, would disappoint everybody. It would disappoint 


it would not disappoint him. Yet I venture to say it would 
not be followed at all as the honorable Senator saj^s by Ameri- 
cans largely investing in British shi[)s ; and the reason wliy 
I say that is because they can do it to-day without the aid of 
new law, and yet they do not. The Williams and Guion 
line, half American, half British, opens just as good an invest- 
ment, if you are looking at it merely from the money side, as 

164 Words of James G. Blaine, 

though they were an American registry. The honorable 
Senator from Kentucky himself has told us that the Phila- 
delphia line is now running one half British-built vessels. 
Why not all ? He says that money is not sentimental. I 
agree to it; and if the object of going into navigation is 
altogether apart from any consideration of national flag or 
national defence, if that be the sole end and aim, then I 
remind the honorable Senator from Kentucky that any man 
who has a thousand or a million dollars to invest can freely 
invest it in a British bottom, and he would escape much 
taxation that he would find if he registered in New York or in 


Boston ; and he could in many ways perhaps expedite the 
gathering of profit unto liimself by keeping a British register 
rather than by accepting one from America. 

It opens no possible temptation to a man desiring to invest 
in navigation to say to him : " You may go abroad, to Eng- 
land, and buy a vessel and bring her to New York and we 
will allow you to register there at the custom-house, and you 
may float the American flag." "No, I thank you," the 
shrewd invester replies. " If I do that I am going to have 
more taxation than I shall have in Liverpool or Bristol. I 
prefer to keep the registry over there," — just as the Williams 
and Guion line does. There are gentlemen in New York 
deriving dividends from that line just as there are gentle- 
men in Philadelphia deriving dividends from the line there 
that is partly made up of British vessels. The very moment 
you disconnect the entire idea of a national marine and the 
building of it here, the very moment you put it down on the 
simple basis of dollars and cents, 

The Navy and the Merchant Marine. 1C5 


then there is no temptation whatever, and you offer no extra 
inducement by saying that the vessel may be registered here, 
not the slightest in the world, and it would not be done. 
When the Senator from Kentucky holds up the brilliant 
prospect that the repair-shops might be the germ and the 
seed of a future marine, he in effect, if not by intention, 
abandons all idea of building ships on this side of the water. 
And I make bold to tell him that in five years there would 
be such an utter abandonment, not only of investment from 
this side, but of building from this side, that the American 
marine would have ceased to be ; '^ the house of Braganza 
would have ceased to govern," as Napoleon said Avhen he 
marched into Portugal. 

This subject, Mr. President, never can be considered intel- 
ligently ; it never can be decided, as ultimately it must be, 
Avithout taking into account at the same time the naval 
establishment of the United States and the mercantile 
marine of the United States. The naval establishment must 
be the outgrowth of the mercantile marine, just as it always 
has been, just as it always Avill be, and where you have no 
mercantile marine out of which to grow it, you never will 
have, and no nation ever has had, a naval establishment 
worthy of the name. As recently as the beginning of the 
late war the maritime States of this Union were able to offer 
in that great struggle seven thousand competent officers of 
the various grades of the volunteer navy, and put on the decks 
of the blockading-fleet seventy thousand American sailors. 
Now the Senator from Kentuck}^, and I think justly, said that 

166 Wordii of James G. Blaine. 

a great deal had been made or attempted to be. made out of 
a few vessels having been taken by blockade-runners and 
destroyed, and others frightened into registry abroad, and 
that many were dating the downfall of the American 
mercantile marine from that cause, which was one cause, but 
I quite agree with him that it was not the largest cause, and 
that it was by no means the principal cause. I quite agree 
with him that it was coincident merely. 


just about that time of which the commercial world at least 
has taken great heed. Up to that date steam-vessels had 
not been good or great freighters. The side-wheel steamer 
that did business between this country and Europe was 
not a great carrying-vessel ; she required too much coal ; 
her engine took up too much space; but right in the midst 
of our war, by a succession of inventions — partly American 
and partly British — there was a complete revolution effected 
in ocean-going steamers, and the I'evolution can best be 
described by stating this formula, namely : that prior to that 
date a vessel of 3,000 tons on a voyage of given length had 
to make 2,200 tons allowance for coal and machinery, and 
only 800 tons for freight, while now it is precisely reversed, 
and they can take 800 tons only for coal and machinery and 
2,200 tons for freight. That is the revolution which Great 
Britain effected, with the numerous advantages coincident 
with, and therefore oftentimes confused with, that other cause 
which prostrated us by reason of the war. But the Senator 
from Kentucky is correct in stating that the destruction of 

The Navy and the 3Ierchant Marine. IGT 

the vessels, large as it was at the time and grievous as the 
calamity was to individuals and to the country, was not the 
great principal cause which brought about the revolution 
from sailing-vessels to the steam marine. 


is something very surprising to men who have not examined it. 
The very first steamer of the Roach line, so called : and they 
are by no means as large steamers as those of the Cunard and 
AVhite Star lines between Liverpool and New York : on 
the very first steamer that went out from New York to 
Rio, besides an assorted cargo, which in a manifest would 
seem to be more than could be got into the hold of a vessel, 
there were rolled into that hold twenty thousand barrels 
of flour. It seems almost incredible when you think what 
that would take in the way of railroad freight-trains. That 
would be two hundred car-loads at one hundred barrels to 
the car, and that was run directly into the hold of that 
vessel. That is where these vessels have gained so enor- 
mously in the carrying trade. It is merely by their huge, 
prodigious capacity for freight. 

It is idle to fight against the inventions of the world ; it is 
idle for us to fold our arms and suppose that wooden vessels 
are to maintain anything like the importance they have 
hitherto had in the commerce of the world. I think I un- 
derstand something of that subject. I have the honor to be 
from the State that has built more wooden vessels than all 
the rest of this Union besides, I believe. Within thirty miles 
of my own residence is a town of only ten thousand people 

168 Wo)'ds of Ja7nes Gr. Blaine. 

which is the largest wooden shipbuilding place on the globe 
to-day. I know some little of that subject ; and while the 
days of wooden ships are by no means over, while they will 
be a great and needful auxiliary in tlie commerce of the 
world, yet it is manifest and is proved that the great high- 
ways of international commerce, such as the Noi'th Atlantic, 
the West India seas, the route from San Francisco to Asia, 
that from San Francisco to Melbourne, and in various and 
sundry and divers other directions, will be occupied, and 
occupied almost to the exclusion of sailing-vessels, by the 
ocean steamers. The United States can take a great part in 
that race ; they can take a great part in it just whenever 
they make up their mind that the instrumentality by which 
England conquered is the one which we must use ; they can 
take it whenever they make up their minds that a mercantile 
marine and a naval establishment must grow and go together 
hand in hand, and that the Congress of the United States is 
derelict in its duty if it passes another naval appropriation 
bill without accompanying it in some form Avith some wise 
and forecasting provision looking also to the upbuilding of 
the American merchant marine. 

When the honorable Senator from Kentucky desires the 
steamships that are to do the traffic of this country to be 
built abroad, he forgets to tell in the 

intj:rkst of the laboring man 

what is a well-known, widely-recognized fact, that if you 
build a ship worth 1500,000, there is only |5,000 of raw 

The Navy and the Merchant Mainne. 169 

material in it, and that $495,000 is labor. So that the Sena- 
tor from Kentucky proposes legislation that will take this 
enormous employment of labor to the other side of the 
ocean, and expend it in foreign countries. He forgets also 
that every steamship floating from the country that builds 
her, in whose shipyards she is repaired, employs as large a 
number of men on shore as she does at sea. All this labor 
the honorable Senator proposes to employ on the other side 
of the ocean. As a plan for adding to the commercial 
importance and the absolute monopoly of the British marine, 
the honorable Senator from Kentucky may be trusted to 
have suggested the most wise and certain cause by which 
that even could be brought about. 

The honorable Senator, in the early part of his remarks, 
said that out in Kentucky, where they raise and run horses, 
a man would be considered an idiot to put one hundred and 
fifty pounds on the back of a racehorse against one that was 
running with only one hundred and ten. Oh, the Senator 
from Kentucky does not propose to do that at all. He 
simply proposes to withdraw the American horse from the 



It is the duty of a good government to protect the riglits and i^roniote the inter- 
esits of its own people. The largest diversity of industry is the most productive of 
general prosperity and of comfort and indepemlence of the people. We therefore 
demand that an imposition of duties on foi-eign imports should be nuide, not for revenue 
only, but that in raising requisite revenues for government such duties s^liall be so 
levied as to afford security to our diversified industries and protection to the rights and 
wages of laborers, to the end that active and intelligent laljor, as Avell as capital, may 
have its just award and the laboring-man fully share in the national prosperity.— 
Republican Platform, 1884. 


[Extracts from " Ticenty Years of Congress," by permission.'\ 

When the administration of Washington Avas organized in 
1789 the government which he represented did not com- 
mand a single dollar of revenue. The}^ inherited a mountain 
of debt from the Revolutionary struggle, they had no credit, 
and the only representative of value wdiicli they controlled 
was the vast body of public land in the Northwest Territory. 
But this was unavailable as a resource for present needs, and 
called for expenditure in the extensive surveys which' were 
a prerequisite to sale and settlement. In addition therefore to 
every other form of poverty, the new government was bur- 
dened in the manner so expressively described as land poor, 
which implies the ownership of a large extent of real estate 
constantly calling for heavy outlay and yielding no revenue. 

Protection for Home Industries, 171 

The Federal government had one crying need, one impera- 
tive demand — money ! 

An immediate system of taxation was therefore required, 
and the newly organized Congress lost no time in proceeding 
to the consideration of ways and means. As soon as a 
quorum of each branch of Congress was found to be present, 
the House gave its attention to 


They did not even wait for the inauguration of President 
Washington, but began nearly a month before that impor- 
tant event to prepare a revenue bill which might at the ear- 
liest moment be ready for the executive approval. Duties 
on imports obviously afforded the readiest resource, and 
Congress devoted itself with assiduous industry to the con- 
sideration of that form of revenue. With the exception of 
an essential law directing the form of oath to be taken by 
the Federal officers, the tariff act was the first passed by the 
new government. It was enacted indeed two months in 
advance of the law creating a Treasury Department, and 
providing for a Secretary thereof. The need of money was 
indeed so urgent that provision was made for raising it by 
duties on imports before the appointment of a single officer 
of the Cabinet was authorized. Even a Secretary of State, 
whose first duty it was to announce the organization of the 
government to foreign nations, was not nominated for a full 
month after the act imposing duties has been passed. 

All the issues involved in the new act were elaborately 
and intelligently debated. The first Congress contained 

172 Words of James G-. Blaine. 

a large proportion of the men who had just before been 
engaged in framing the Federal Constitution, and who were 
therefore fresh from the councils which had carefully consid- 
ered and accurately measured the force of every provision 
of that great charter of government. It is therefore a fact 
of lasting importance that the first tariff law enacted under 
the Federal government set forth its object in the most 
succinct and explicit language. It opened, after the excel- 
lent fashion of that day, with a stately preamble beginning 
with the emphatic " whereas," and declaring that " it is neces- 
sary for the support of government, for the discharge of the 
debts of the United States, and for the 


that duties be laid on imported goods, wares and merchandise." 
Among the men who agreed to that declaration were some 
of the most eminent in our history. James Madison, then 
young enough to add junior to his name, was the most con- 
spicuous ; and associated with him were Richard Henry Lee, 
Theodorick Bland, Charles Carroll of Carrollton, Rufus King, 
George Clymer, Oliver Ellsworth, Elias Boudinot, Fisher 
Ames, Elbridge Gerry, Roger Sherman, Jonathan Trumbull, 
Lambert Cadwalader, Thomas Fitzsimmons, the two Muhlen- 
bergs, Thomas Tudor Tucker, Hugh Williamson, Abraham 
Baldwin, Jeremiah Van Rensselaer, and many other leading 
men, both from the North and the South. 

It is a circumstance of curious interest that nearly, if not 
quite, all the arguments used by the supporters and oppo- 
nents of a protective system were presented at that time 

Protection for Home Industries, 173 

and with a directness and ability which have not been 
surpassed by any subsequent discussion. The " ad valorem " 
system of levying duties was inaintained against '^ specific " 
rates in almost the same language employed in the dis- 
cussions of recent years. The "infant manufactures," the 
need of the "fostering care of the government" for the 
promotion of "home industry," the advantages derived from 
"diversified pursuits," the competition of "cheap labor in 
Europe,'* were all rehearsed with a familiarity and ease 
which implied their previous and constant use in the legis- 
lative halls of the different States before the power to levy 
imposts was remitted to the jurisdiction of Congress. 


of the country at that day can be inferred from the tariff 
bill first passed ; and the manufactures that were deemed 
worthy of encouragement are clearly outlined in the debate. 
Mr. Clymer, of Pennsylvania, asked for a protective duty on 
steel, stating that a furnace in Philadelphia " had produced 
three hundred tons in two years, and with a little encourage- 
ment would supply enough for the consumption of the 
whole Union." The Pennsylvania members at the same 
time strenuously opposed a duty on coal, which they wished 
to import as cheaply as possible to aid in the development 
of their iron ores. The manufacture of glass had been 
started in Maryland, and the^ members from that State 
secured a duty on the foreign article after considerable 
discussion, and with the significant reservation, in deference 
to popular habits, that "black quart-bottles" should be 
admitted free. 

174 Words of James Gr. Blaine. 

Mr. Madison opposed a tax on cordage, and "questioned 
the i)i"C)pi'iety of raising the price of any article that 
entered materially into the structure of vessels," making in 
effect the same argument on that subject which has been 
repeated without improvement so frequently in later years. 
Indigo and tobacco, two special products of the South, were 
protected by prohibitory duties, while the raising of cotton 
was encouraged by a duty of three cents per pound on 
the imported article. Mr. Burke, of South Carolina, said 
the culture of cotton was contemplated on a large scale in 
the South, " if good seed could be procured." The manufac- 
ture of iron, wool, leather, paper, already in some degree 
developed, was stimulated by the bill. Tlie fisheries were 
aided by a bounty on every barrel caught ; and the naviga- 
tion interest received a remarkable encouragement by pro- 
viding that " a discount of ten per cent, on all duties imposed 
by this act shall be allowed on such goods, wares, and 
merchandise as shall be imported in vessels built in the 
United States, and v/holly the property of a citizen or 
citizens thereof." The bill throughout was an American 
measure, designed to promote American interests ; and as a 
first step in a wide field of legislation, it was characterized 
in an eminent degree by wisdom, by moderation, and by 
a keen insight into the immediate and tlie distant future of 
the country. The ability which framed the Constitution was 
not greater than that displayed by the generation of Amer- 
ican statesman who were called to legislate under its gener- 
ous provisions and its wise restrictions. 

I^rotection for Home Industries. 175 


in the light of facts which taught them that though politi- 
cally separated from the mother country, we were still in 
many ways dependent upon her, in as large a degree as when 
we were colonies subject to her will and governed for her 
advantage. The younger Pitt boasted that he had recon- 
quered the colonies as commercial dependencies, contributing 
more absolutely and in larger degree to England's prosperity 
than before the political connection was severed. He treated 
the States, after the close of the peace of 1783, with a haughty 
assumption of superiority, if not indeed with contempt — not 
even condescending to accredit a diplomatic representative to 
this country, though John Adams was in London as minister 
plenipotentiary and envoy extraordinary from the United 
States. English laws of protection under the Pitt adminis- 
tration were steadily framed against the development of 
manufactures and navigation in America, and the tendency 
when the Federal Constitution was adopted had been, in the 
planting Slates especially, toward a species of commercial 
dependence which was enabling England to absorb our trade. 
The first tariff act was therefore in a certain sense a 
second Declaration of Independence ; and by a coincidence 
which could not have been more striking or more significant, 
it was approved by President Washington on the Fourth day 
of July, 1789. Slow as were the modes of communicating 
intelligence in those days, this act of Congress did, in a sug- 
gestive way, arouse the attention of both continents. The 
words of the preamble were ominous. The duties levied 
were exceedingly moderate, scarcely any of them above fifteen 

176 Words of James G. Blaine. 

per cent., the majority not higher than ten. But the begin- 
ning was made ; and the English manufacturers and carriers 
saw that the power to levy ten per cent, could at any time 
levy a hundred per cent, if the interest of the new govern- 
ment demanded it. The separate States had indeed possessed 
the power to levy imposts, but they had never exercised it in 
any comprehensive manner, and had usually adapted the rate of 
duty to English trade rather than to tlie protection of manu- 
facturing interests at home. The action of the Federal 
government was a new departure, of protentous magnitude, 
and was so recognized at home and abroad. 

It was not the percentage which aroused and disturbed 
England. It was the power to levy the duty at all. In his 
famous speech on American taxation in the House of Com- 
mons fifteen years before, Mr. Burke asserted that it was '' not 
the weight of the duty, but the weight of the preamble, 
which the Americans were unable and unwilling to bear." 
The tax actually imposed was not oppressive, but the pream- 
ble implied the power to levy upon the colonies whatever 
tax the British government might deem expedient, and this 
led to resistance and to revolution. The force of the pream- 
ble was now turned against Great Britain. She saw that 
the extent to which the principle of protective duties might 
be carried was entirely a matter of discretion with the young- 
Republic whose people had lately been her subjects and 
might now become her rivals. The principle of ])rotecting 
the manufactures and encouraging the navigation of America 
had been distinctly proclaimed in. the first law enacted by 
the new government, and was thus made in a suggestive and 

Protection for Home Industries. 177 

emphatic sense the very corner-stone of the Republican 
edifice which the patriots of the Revolution were aiming to 


as thus shown in the first legislation by Congress are the 
more significant from the fact that he belonged to the Jeffer- 
sonian school, believed in the strictest construction of 
granted power, was a zealous Republican in the partisan 
divisions of the day, and was always opposed to the more 
liberal, or, as he w >uld regard them, the more latitudinarian, 
views of the Federal party. In regard to the protection and 
encouragement of manufactures there seemed to be no radi- 
cal difference between parties in the early period of the gov- 
ernment. On that issue, to quote a phrase used on another 
occasion, " they were all Federalists and all Republicans." 
Mr. Hamilton's celebrated report on manufactures, submit- 
ted in answer to a request from the House of Representatives 
of December, 1790, sustained and elaborated the views on 
which Congress had already acted, and brought the whole 
influence of the Executive Department to the support of a 
protective tariff. Up to that period no minister of finance 
among the oldest and most advanced countries of Europe 
had so ably discussed the principles on which national pros- 
perity was based. . The report has long been familiar to 
students of political economy, and has had, like all Mr. Ham- 
ilton's work, a remarkable value and a singular application in 
the developments of subsequent years. 


of encouraging home manufactures by protective duties, 
even to the point in some instances of making those " duties 

178 Words of James 6r. Blaine. 

equivalent to proliibition." He did not contemplate a pro- 
hibitive duty as the means of encouraging a manufacture 
not already domesticated, but declared it " only fit to be 
employed when a manufacture has made such a progress, 
and is in so many hands, as to insure a due competition and 
an adequate supply on reasonable terms." This argument 
did not seem to follow the beaten path which leads to the 
protection of "infant manufactures," but rather aimed to 
secure the home market for the strong and well-developed 
enterprises. Mr. Hamilton did not turn back from the con- 
sequences which his argument involved. He perceived its 
logical conclusions and frankly accepted them. He consid- 
ered " the monopoly of the domestic market to its own 
manufacturers as the reigning policy of manufacturing 
nations," and declared that " a similar policy on the part of 
the United States in every proper instance was dictated by 
the principles of distributive justice, certainly by the duty 
of endeavoring to secure to their own citizens a reciprocity 
•'of advantages." He avowed his belief that '' the internal 
competition which takes place soon does away with everything 
like monopoly, and by degrees reduces the price of the 
article to the minimum of a reasonable profit on the capital 
employed. This accords with the reason of the thing and 
with experience." He contended that •■' a reduction has in 
several instances immediately succeeded the establishment 
of domestic manufacture." But even if this result should 
not follow, he maintained that " in a national view a tempo- 
rary enhancement of price must always be well compensated 
by a permanent reduction of it." The doctrine of protection, 

Protection for Home Industries. 179 

even Avitli the enlarged experience of subsequent years, has 
never been more succinctly or more felicitously stated. 

Objections to the enforcement of the "protective " principle 
founded on a lack of constitutional power were summarily dis- 
missed by Mr. Hamilton as " having no good foundation." He 
had been a member of the convention that formed the Consti- 
tution, and had given attention beyond any other member to 
the clause relating to the collection and appropriation of 
revenue. He said the " power to raise money " as embodied 
in the Constitution "is plenary and indefinite," and "the 
objects for which it may be appropriated are no less compre- 
hensive than the payment of the public debts, the providing for 
the common defence and the general welfare." He gives the 
widest scope to the phrase "general welfare," and declares 
that " it is of necessity left to the discretion of the National 
Legislature to pronounce upon the objects Avhich concern 
the general welfare, and for which under that description 
an appropriation of money is requisite and proper." Mr. 
Hamilton elaborates his argument on this head with con- 
summate power, and declares that "the only qualification" 
to the power of appropriation under the phrase "general 
welfare " is that the purpose for which the money is applied 
shall "be general, and not local, its operation extendhig in 
fact throughout the Union, and not being confined to a par- 
ticular spot." The limitations and hypercritical objections 
to^ the powers conferred by the Constitution, both in the 
raising and appropriation of money, originated in large part 
after the authors of that great charter had passed away, and 
have been uniformly stimulated by class interests which 
were not developed when the organic law was enacted. 

180 Words of James G. Blaine. 


are especially iiiterestiiig in view of the subsequent develop- 
ment of manufacturing enterprises. " Iron works " he repre- 
sents as ''greatly increasing in the United States," and so 
great is the demand that '' iron furnished before the Revolu- 
tion at an average of sixty-four dollars per ton " was then 
sold at eighty. Nails and spikes, made in large part by boys, 
needed " further protection," as 1,800,000 pounds had been 
imported the previous year. Iron was wholly made by 
" charcoal," but there were several mines of " fossil coal " 
already " worked in Virginia," and a " copious supply of it 
would be of great value to the iron industry." Respecting 
" cotton " Mr. Hamilton attached far more consideration to its 
manufacture than to its culture. He distrusted the quality 
of that grown at home because so far from the equator, and 
he wished the new factories in Rhode Island and Massachu- 
setts to have the best article at the cheapest possible rate. 
To this end the repeal of the three-cent duty on cotton levied 
the preceding year was " indispensable." He argued that 
" not being, like hemp, a universal production of the coun- 
try, cotton aifords less assurance of an adequate internal 
supply." If the duty levied on glass should not prove suffi- 
cient inducement to its manufacture, he would stimulate it 
'' by a direct bounty." 

Mr. Hamilton's concejDtions of an enlarged plan of 
"protection" included not only "prohibitive duties," but 
when necessar}^, a system of "bounties and premiums" in 
addition. He was earnestly opposed to "a captitation tax," 
and declared such levies as an income tax to be " unavoid- 

Protection for Some Industries. 181 

ably hurtful to industry." Indirect taxes were obviously 
preferred by him wherever they were practicable. Indeed 
upon any other system of taxation he believed it would 
prove impossible for the Republic of 1790 to endure the 
burden imposed upon the public treasury by the funding of 
the debt of the Revolution. More promptly than any other 
financier of that century, he saw that ten dollars could be 
more easily collected by indirect tax than one dollar by 
direct levy, and that he could thus avoid those burdensome 
exactions from the people which had proved so onerous in 
Europe, and which had just aided in precipitating France 
into bloody revolution. 


to the revenue system promptly followed Mr. Hamilton's 
recommendations. From that time onward, for a period of 
more than twenty years, additional tariff laws were passed 
by each succeeding Congress .modif3ang and generally 
increasing the rate of duties first imposed and adding many 
new articles to the dutiable list. When the war of 1812 
was reached, a great but temporary change was made in 
the tariff laws by increasing the entire list of duties one hun- 
dred per cent., simply doubling the rate in every case. Not 
content with this sweeping and wholesale increase of duty, the 
law provided an additional ten per cent, upon all goods 
imported in foreign vessels, besides collecting an additional 
tonnage ,tax of one dollar and a half per ton on the vessel. 
Of • course this was war legislation, and the act was to 
expire within one year after a treaty of peace should be 

182 Words of James Gr. Blame. 

concluded with Great Britain. With the experience of 
recent days before him, the reader does not need to be 
reminded that under the stimulus of this extraordinary rate 
of duties manufactures rapidly developed throughout the 
country. Importations from England being absolutely 
stopped by reason of the war and a large part excluded 
from other countries by high duties, the American market 
was for the first time left substantially or in large degree 
to American manufacturers. 

With all the disadvantages which so sudden and so ex- 
treme a policy imposed on the people, the progress for the 
four years of these extravagant and exceptional duties was 
very rapid and undoubtedly exerted a lasting influence on 
the industrial interests of the United States. But the policy 
was not one which commanded general support. Other 
interests came forward in opposition. Xew England was 
radically hostile to high duties, for the reason that tliey 
seriously interfered Avith the shipping and commercial inter- 
est in which her people were largely engaged. Tlie natural 
result, moreover, was a sharp reaction, in which the protective 
principle suffered. Soon after the treaty of Ghent was 
signed movements Avere made for a reduction of duties, and 
the famous tariff of 1816 was the result. 


on that important act it is worthy of notice that Mr. Clay, 
from an extreme Western State, was urging a high rate of 
duties on cotton fabrics, while his chief opponent was Daniel 
Webster, then a Representative from Massachusetts. An 

Protection for Home Industries. 18o 

additional and still stranger feature of the debate is found 
when Mr. Calhoun, co-operating Avith Mr. Clay, replied to 
Mr. Webster's free-trade speech in an elaborate defence of 
the doctrine of protection to our manufactures. 

Mr. Calhoun spoke with enthusiasm and gave an interest- 
ing resume of the condition of the country as affected by 
tlie war with Great Britain. He believed that tlie vital 
deficiency in our financial condition was the lack of manu- 
factures, and to supply that deficiency he was Avilling to 
extend the j)rotectiDg arm of the government. " Wlien our 
manufactures are grown to a certain perfection, as they soon 
will be under the fostering care of tlie government, we shall 
no longer experience these evils. The farmer will find 
a ready market for his surplus products and, what is 
of equal consequence, a certain and clieap supply for all his 
wants. His prosperity will diffuse itself through every class 
in the community.*' Not satisfied with this unqualified sup- 
port of the protective system, Mr. Callioun supplemented it 
by declaring that " to give perfection to this state of things 
it will be necessary to add as soon as possible a system of 
internal improvements." Mr. Webster's opposition to pro- 
tection was based on the fact that it tended to depress 
commerce and curtail the profits of the carrying trade. . . 


It is natural that both sides of tlie tariff controversy 
should endeavor to derive support for their principles from 
the experience of the country. Nor can it be denied that 
each side can furnish many ai^uments which apparently sus- 

184 Words of James G. Blaine. 

tain its own views and theories. The difficulty in reaching 
a satisfactory and impartial conclusion arises from the inabil- 
ity or unwillingness of the disputants to agree upon a com- 
mon basis of fact. If the premises could be candidly stated, 
there would be no trouble in finding a true conclusion. In 
the absence of an agreement as to the points established, it 
is the part of fairness to give a succinct statement of the 
grounds maintained by the two parties to the prolonged con- 
troversy — grounds which have not essentially changed in 
a century of legislative and popular contention. 

It is maintained by free-traders that under the moderate 
tariff prevailing from the origin of the government to the 
war of 1812 the country was prosperous, and manufactures 
were developing as rapidly as was desirable or healthful. 
Protectionists, on the other hand, aver that the duty levied 
in 1789 was the first of uniform application throughout all 
the States, and that, regardless of its percentage, its influence 
and effect were demonstrably protective ; that it was the first 
barrier erected against the absolute commercial supremacy of 
England, and that it effectually did its work in establishing the 
foundation of the American system. In the absence of that 
tariff, they maintain that England, under the influence of 
actual free trade had monopolized our market and controlled 
our industries. Finally they declare that the free-traders 
yield the whole case in acknowledging that the first tariff 
imparted an impetus to manufactures and to commercial 
independence wholly unknown while the States were under 
the articles of confederation and unable to levy uniform 
duties on imports. 

Protection for Home Industries. 185 

t.uiffof 1812, xvluch unduly stimulated and then inevitably 
.pressed the country. They assume this to be a preg,'ant 

them as to the reaefaon sure to follow an artificial stimulus 
gnen to any department of trade. The protectionists 
aeelnung to defend the war duties as applicabl to a o m i 

Mistake uluch precipitated the country into financial trouble 
Depression, hey say, would naturally have come; but it wa" 
hastened and increased by the inconsiderate manner in wl "l 
be duties were lowered in 1816. From that time onwa 
he protectionists claim that the experience of the count 
as favored their theories of revenue and financial adinhS 
trat 01 The country did not revive or prosperity reappear 
until the protective tariff of 1824 was enacted. "^The I" 
Unmg of all branches of industry by that act was further 

^i^z^rf/T^ ''' -'-^ *'- i-t-tioiS:: 

pout as the perfected wisdom of their school. Mr. Clav 
publicly asserted that the severest depression he had wit- 

le tariff of 1824 and that the highest prosperity was durinf 
the seven years following that act ^ 

The free-traders affirm that the excitement in the South 
and he sectional resistance to the tariff of 1828 show the im- 

s;;S;'i"^'"'='''^"^ ''''' ^^"*-- t-- 1--*^! 

to riv ttl? ^" 7g»'»->t - Pegging the question, and is 
simply tantamount to admitting that protection is valuable if 
It can be upheld. The protectionists point to the fact hat 

186 Wordii of James G. Blame, 

their system was not abandoned in 1832 upon a fair consid- 
eration of its intrinsic merits, but as a peace-offering to those 
who were threatening the destruction of the government if 
the duties were not lowered. Many protectionists believe 
that if Mr. Clay had been willing to give to General Jackson 
the glory of an absolute victory over the Nallifiers of South 
Carolina the revenue system of the country would liave been 
very different. They think, however, that the temptation to 
settle the question by compromise instead of permitting 
Jackson to settle it by force was perhaps too strong to be 
resisted by one who had so many reasons for opposing and 
hating the President. 


by another school of protectionists is that Mr. Clay did the 
wisest possible thing in withdrawing the tariff question from 
a controversy where it was complicated with so many other 
issues • — some of them bitter and personal. He justly feared 
that the protective principle might be irretrievably injured in 
the collision thought to be impending. He believed, moreover, 
that the best protective lesson would be taught by permitting 
the free-traders to enforce their theories for a season, trusting 
for permanent triumph to the popular reaction certain to 
follow. There was nothing in the legislation to show that 
Mr. Clay or his followers had in any degree abandoned or 
changed their faith in protective duties or their confidence 
in the ultimate decision of the public judgment. The pro- 
tectionists aver that the evils which flowed from the free- 
trade tariff of 1833, thus forced on the country by extraneous 

Protection for Home Industries. 187 

considerations, were incalculably great, and negatively estab- 
lished the value of the tariff in 1828 which had been so 
unfairly destroyed. They maintain that it l)roke down the 
manufacturing interest, led to excessive importations, threw 
the balance of trade heavily against us, drained us of our 
specie, and directly led to the financial disasters of 1837 and 
the years ensuing. They further declare that this distressing 
situation was not relieved until the protective tariff of 1842 
was passed, and that thenceforward, for the four years in 
which that act was allowed to remain in force, the country 
enjoyed general prosperity — a prosperity so marked and 
widespread that the opposing party had not dared to make 
an issue against the tariff in States where there was larp-e 
investment in manufacturing. 


of 1846 to be a conclusive proof of the beneficial effect of 
low duties. They challenge a comparison of the years of 
its operation, between 1846 and 1857, with any other equal 
period in the history of the country. Manufacturing, they 
say, was not forced by a hot-house process to produce high- 
priced goods for popular consumption, but was gradually 
encouraged and developed on a healthful and self-sustaining 
basis, not to be shaken as a reed in the wind by every 
change in the financial world. Commerce, as they point out, 
made great advances, and our carrying trade grew so rapidly 
that in ten years from the day the tariff of 1846 was passed 
our tonnage exceeded the tonnage of England. The free- 
traders refer with especial emphasis to what they term the 

188 Words of James Gr. Blaine. 

symmetviccal development of all the great interests of tlie 
conntiy nnder this liberal tariff. Manufactnres were not 
stimulated at the expense of the commercial interest. Both 
Avere developed in harmony, Avhile agriculture, the indis- 
pensable basis of all, was never more flourishing. The 
farmers and planters at no other period of our history were 
in receipt of such good prices, steadily paid to them in gold 
coin, for their surplus j)roduct, which they could send to the 
domestic market over our own railways and to the foreign 
market in our own ships. 

Assertions as to the progress of manufactures in the 
period under discussion are 


While admitting the general correctness of the free-traders' 
statements as to the prosperous condition of the country, 
they call attention to the fact that directly after the enact- 
ment of the tariff of 1846 the great famine occurred in 
Ireland, followed in the ensuing years by short crops in 
Europe. The prosperity which came to the American 
agriculturist was therefore from causes beyond the sea and 
not at home — causes which were transient, indeed almost 
accidental. Moreover an exceptional condition of affairs 
existed in the United States in consequence of our large 
acquisition of territory from Mexico at the close of the war 
and the subsequent and almost immediate discovery of gold 
in California. A new and extended field was thus opened 
in which we had the monopoly, and an enormous surplus of 
money was speedily created from the products of the rich 

Protection for Home Industries. 189 

mines on the Pacific coast. At the same time Europe was in 
convulsion from the revolutions of 1848, and production was 
materially hindered over a large part of the continent. This 
disturbance had scarcely subsided when three leading nations 
of Europe — England, France, and Russia — engaged in the 
wasteful and expensive war of the Crimea. This struggle 
began in 1853 and ended in 185G, and during those years it 
increased consumption and decreased production abroad, 
and totally closed the grainfields of Russia from any compe- 
tition with the United States. 


that the boasted prosperity of the country under the tariff 
of 184G was abnormal in origin and in character. It 
depended upon a series of events exceptional at home and 
even more exceptional abroad, events which by the doctrine 
of probabilities Avould not be repeated for centuries. When 
peace was restored in Europe, when foreign looms and forges 
were set going with renewed strength, when Russia resumed 
her export of wheat, and when at home the output of tlie 
gold mines suddenly decreased, the country was thrown into 
distress, followed by a panic and by long years of depression. 
The protectionists maintain that from 1846 to 1857 the 
United States would have enjoyed prosperity under any 
form of tariff, but that the moment the exceptional con- 
ditions in Europe and in America came to an end the country 
was plunged headlong into a disaster from which the con- 
servative force of a protective tariff would in large part have 
saved it. The protectionists claim,, that in these 

190 Words of James Gr. Blaine. 

averments they are not wise after the fact. The}^ show 
a constant series of argnments and warnings from leading 
teachers of their economic school, especially from Horace 
Greeley and Henry C. Carey, accurately foretelling the 
disastrous results which occurred at the height of what was 
assumed to be our solid and enduring prosperity as a nation. 
These able w^riters were prophets of adversity, and the 
inheritors of their faith claim that their predictions were 
startlingly verified. 


As contradistinguished from the theory of protection, 
England has realized freedom of trade by taxing only that 
class of imports whicli meet no competition in home produc- 
tion, thus excluding all pretence of favor or advantage to 
any of her domestic industries. England came to this policy 
after having clogged and embarrassed trade for a long period 
by the most unreasonable and tyrannical restrictions, ruth- 
lessly enforced, without regard to the interests or even the 
rights of others. She had more than four hundred acts of 
Parliament regulating the tax on imports, under the old 
designations of " tonnage and poundage," adjusted, as the 
phrase indicates, to heavy and light commodities. Beyond 
these, she had a cumbersome system of laws regulating, and 
in many cases prohibiting, the exportation of articles which 
might teach to other nations the skill by which she had her- 
self so marvelously prospered. 

When by long experiment and persistent effort England 
had carried her fabrics to perfection ; when by the large 

Protection for Home Indust^nes. 191 

accumulation of wealth and the force of reserved capital 
she could command facilities which poorer nations could not 
rival ; when by the talent of her inventors, developed under 
the stin^nlus of large reward, she had surpassed all other 
countries in the magnitude and effectiveness of her machin- 
ery, she proclaimed free trade and persuasively urged it 
upon all lands with which she had commercial intercourse. 
Maintaining the most arbitrary and most complicated system 
of protection so long as her statesmen considerecf that 
policy advantageous, she resorted to free trade only when 
she felt able to invade the domestic markets of other 
countries and undersell the fabrics produced by struggling 
artisans who were sustained by weaker capital and by less 
advanced skill. So long as tliere was danger that her own 
marts might be invaded, and the products of her looms and 
forges undersold at liome, she rigidly excluded the com- 
peting fabrics and held her own market for her own wares. 


nor candid in her advocacy and establishment of free trade. 
She did not apply it to all departments of her enterprise, 
but only to those in Avhicli she felt confident that she could 
defy competitio]). Long after the triumph of free trade 
in manufactures, as proclaimed in 1846, England continued 
to violate every principle of her own creed in the protection 
she extended to her navigation interests. She had nothino- 
to fear from the United States in the dcnnain of maiur- 
factures, and she therefore asked us to give her the unrc- 
stricted benefit of our markets in exchange for a similar 

192 Words of James G. Blaine. 

privilege which she offered to iis in her markets. But 
on the sea we were steadily gaining upon her, and in 
1852-55 were nearly equal to her in aggregate tonnage. 
We could build wooden vessels at less cost than England 
and our ships excelled hers in speed. When steam began 
to compete with sail she saw her advantage. She could 
build engines at less cost than we, and when, soon after- 
wards, her shipbuilders began to construct the entire 
steamer of iron, her advantages became evident to the whole 


however, with the superiority which -these circumstances 
gave to her. She did not wait for her own theory of free trade^ 
to work out its legitimate results, but forthwith stimulated 
the growth of her steam marine by the most enormous 
bounties ever paid by any nation to any enterprise. To 
a single line of steamers running alternate weeks from Liver- 
pool to Boston and New York she paid 1900,000 annually, 
and continued to pay at this extravagant rate for at least 
twentv years. In all channels of trade where steam could 
be employed she paid lavish subsidies, and litarally destroyed 
fair competition, and created for herself a practical monopoly 
in the building of iron steamers and a superior share in the 
ocean traffic of the world. But every step she took in the 
development of her steam marine by tlie payment of bounty 
was in flat contradiction of the creed which she was at tlie 
same time advocating in those departments of trade where 
she could conquer her competitors without bounty. 

With her superiority in navigation attained and made 
secure through the instrumentality of subsidies, 

Protection for Home Industries. 193 


Her ships no longer needed tliem. Thereupon, with a 
promptness which would be amusing if it did not have so 
serious a side for America, she proceeded to inveigh through 
all her organs of public opinion against the discarded and 
condemned policy of granting subsidies to ocean steamers. 
Her course in effect is an exact repetition of that in regard 
to protection of manufactures, but as it is exhibited before 
a new generation the inconsistency is not so readily appre- 
hended nor so keenly appreciated as it should be on this side 
of the Atlantic. Even now there is good reason for believing 
that many lines of English steamers, in their effort to seize 
the trade to the exclusion of rivals, are paid such extrava- 
gant rates for the carrying of letters as practically to amount 
to a bounty, thus confirming to the present day (1884) the 
fact that no nation has ever been so persistently and so 
jealously protective in her policy as England so long as the 
stimulus of protection is needed to give her the command 
of trade. What is true of England is true in greater or less 
degree of all other European nations. They have each in 
turn regulated the adoption of free trade by the ratio of 
their progress toward the point where they could overcome 
competition. In all those departments of trade where com- 
petition could overcome them they have been quick to inter- 
pose protective measures for the benefit of their own people. 


the legitimate results of his theory. He starts with the 
proposition that whatever is manufactured at home gives 

194 Words of James G. Blaine. 

work and Avages to onr own people, and that if the duty is 
even pnt so high as to prohibit the import of the foreign 
article, the competition of home prodncers will, according to 
the doctrine of Mr. Hamilton, rapidly reduce the price to the 
-onsumer. He gives numerous illustrations of articles 
wliich, under the influence of home competition, have fallen 
ill price below the point at which the foreign article was 
furnished when there was no protection. The free-trader 
replies that the fall in price has been still greater in the 
foreign market, and the protectionist rejoins that the reduc- 
tion was made to compete Avith the American product, and 
that the former price would probably have been maintained 
so long as the importer had the monopoly of our market. 
Thus our protective tariff reduced the price in both coun- 
tries. This has notably been the result with respect to steel 
rails, the production of which in America has reached 
a magnitude surpassing that of England. Meanwhile rails 
have largely fallen in price to the consumer, the home man- 
ufacture has disbursed countless millions of money among 
American laborers, and has added largely to our industrial 
independence and to the wealth of the country. 

While many fabrics have fallen to as Iowa price in the 
United States as elsewhere, it is not to be denied that 
articles of clothing and household use, metals and machinery, 
are, on an average, higher than in Europe. The difference 
is due in large degree to the wages paid to labor, and thus 
the question of reducing the tariff carries with it the very 
serious problem of a reduction in the pay of the artisan and 
the operative. This involves so many grave considerations 

Protection for Home Industries. 195 

that no par.ty is prepared to advocate it openly. Free- 
traders do not, and apparently dare not, face the plain truth 
which is that the lowest-priced fabric means the lowest- 
priced labor. On this point protectionists are more frank 
than their opponents ; they realize that it constitutes indeed 
the most impregnable defence of their school. Free-traders 
have at times attempted to deny the truth of the statement ; 
but every impartial investigation thus far has conclusively 
proved that labor is better paid, and the average condition 
of the laboring man more comfortable, in the United States 
than in any European country. 

An adjustment of the protective duty to the point which 
represents the average difference between wages of labor 
in Europe and in America, will, in the judgment of protec- 
tionists, always prove impracticable. The difference cannot 
be regulated by a scale of averages because it is constantly 
subject to arbitrary changes. If the duty be adjusted on 
that basis for any given date, a reduction of wages would at 
once be enforced abroad, and the American manufacturer 
would, in consequence, be driven to the desperate choice of 
surrendering the home market or reducing the pay of work- 
men. The theory of protection is not answered, nor can its 
realization be attained, by any such device. Protection, iu 
the perfection of its design as described by Mr. Hamilton, 
does not invite competition from abroad, but it is based on 
the controlling principle that competition at home will 
always prevent monopoly on the part of the capitalist, assure 
good wages to the laborer, and defend the consumer against 
the evils of extortion. . . . 

196 Words of James Gr. Blaine. 


the fact that excessive production is due, both in England 
and America, to causes beyond the operation of duties 
either high or low. No cause is more potent than the pro- 
digious capacity of machinery set in motion by the agency 
of steam. It is asserted by an intelligent economist that if 
performed by hand the work done by machinery in Great 
Britain would require the labor of seven hundred millions of 
men, a far larger number of adults than inhabit the globe. 
It is not strange that with this vast enginery power to pro- 
duce has a constant tendency to outrun the power to con- 
sume. Protectionists find in this a conclusive arcrument 
against surrendering the domestic market of the United 
States to the control of British capitalists, whose power of 
production has no ap2:)arent limit. When- the harmonious 
adjustment of international trade shall ultimately be estab- 
lished by " parliament of man " in " the federation of the 
world " the power of production and the power of consump- 
tion will properly balance each other ; but in traversing the 
long road and enduring the painful process by which that 
end shall be reached the protectionist claims that his theory 
of revenue preserves the newer nations from being devoured 
by the older, and offers to human labor a shield against the 
exactions of capital. 



The reform of the civil service, auspiciously begun under Republican aclmiuistra- 
Liou, should be completed by the fui'ther extension of the reformed system already 
established by law to a\\ the grades' of the service to Avhich it is applicable. The 
spirit and purpose of the reform should be observed in all executive appointments 
and all laws at variance with the objects of existing reformed legislation should be 
repealed, to the end that the dangers to free institutions which lurk in the power of 
official patronage may be wisely and efl'ectually avoided. 

The Republican party favors a policy which shall keep iis from entangling alliances 
with foreign nations, and Avhich shall give the right to expect that foreign nations 
shall refrain from meddling in American affairs — the policy which seeks peace and 
trade with all powers, and especially with those of the Western hemisphere.— Repub- 
lican platform, 1884. 


{From an address delivered at Winterport, Maine.'] 

There are many reforms which I should be glad to see, 
and which I have for many years believed in. I should be 
glad to see every Federal officer, however honorable, 
appointed for a specific period, during which he could not be 
removed except for cause which cause should be specified, 
proved, and made matter of record. I should be glad to see 
the tenure of all subordinate officers made longer at least 
than a presidential term, so that the incoming of a new 
administration should not be harassed, annoyed, crippled, and 
injured by the distribution of offices. Seven years would be 
a good length of term, and would effect the desired end. It 

1*J8 JVvnJs of James Cr. Blaine. 

would break joints with the presidential term, and would 
avoid the evil of which I have spoken. There are a great 
many honest advocates of reform in the civil service who 
believe in a life tenure for all subordinate officials. I have 
never been able to persuade myself that this would be wise, 
even if practicable, and I am quite sure that it is not practi- 
cable. Life tenure means a pension to the incumbent, and 
with a hundred thousand office-holders this would impose an 
intolerable burden on the tax-payer. It would create what 
might be termed a privileged class, which is always sure in 
the end to prove unpopular and odious in the eyes of the 

Nor do I believe it was ever demonstrated that life tenure 
insures the best, most faithful, and most honorable service. 
It. may often be Avise to retain a man in office fur all the 
years of his active life, but I believe he will be a better 
officer if his commission shall expire at stated periods and 
his efficiency shall be his claim of reappointment and 
continuance in our administration of State and county 
office. The gentleman who has practical charge of the 
treasury of Maine has been in his position forty-one years, 
his appointment being annually renewed in recognition of 
his ability and fidelity. Even with his strict integrity, I do 
not doubt that he has been a more careful officer than if he 
had been originally appointed for life, or a term of fortj^-one 
years. In the county of my residence we elected the same 
man annually for thirty-three years. He was a better 
officer than though he had been originally chosen to serve for 
the full generation during which he had honorably discharged 

Civil Service and Foreign Relations. 199 

every duty. I believe, therefore, from such instances an 
these, and many others Avhich I could name, that it will prove 
a far easier task to educate public opinion to a renewal of 
appointment to efficient and valuable officers, with suffi- 
cient salaries to enable them to lay by something for a 
rainy day, than it will be to get , popular consent to life 
tenures, with pensions to a large civil list, constantly 
growing in numbers and amount, and constantly provoking 
opposition in the popular mind. 


{Extract from Mr. Blaine's despatch calling a Peace Congress, Kor ember 29, 7S81.] 

For some years past a growing disposition has been mani- 
fested by certain states of Central and South America to refer 
disputes affecting grave questions of international relation- 
ship and boundaries to arbitration rather than to the sword. 
It has been on several such occasions a source of profound 
satisfaction to the government of the United States to see 
that this country is in a large measure looked to by all the 
American powers as their friend and mediator. The just 
and impartial counsel of the President in such cases has 
never been withheld, and his efforts have been rewarded by 
the prevention of sanguinary strife or angry contention 
between peoples whom we regard as brethren. 

The existence of this growing tendency convinces the 
President that the time is ripe for a proposal that shall enlist 
the goodwill and active co-operation of all the States of the 

200 Words of James G. Blaine. 

Western hemisphere, both North and South, in the interest 
of humanity and for the commonweal of nations. He con- 
ceives that none of the governments of America can be less 
alive than our own to the dangers and horrors of a state of 
war, and especially of war between kinsmen. He is sure 
that none of the chiefs of governments on the continent can 
be less sensitive than he is to the sacred duty of making 
every endeavor to do away with the chances of fratricidal 
strife. And he looks with hopeful confidence to such active 
assistance from them as will serve to show the broadness of 
our common humanity, and the strength of the ties whicli 
bind us all together as a great and harmonious system of 
American commonwealths. 

Impressed by these views, the President extends to all the 
independent countries of North and South America an ear- 
nest invitation to participate in a general Congress to be held 
in the city of Washington on the twenty-fourth day of 
November, 1882, for the purpose of considering and discussing 
the methods of preventing war between the nations of Amer- 
ica. He desires that the attention of the Congress shall be 
strictly confined to this one great object ; that its sole aim 
shall be to seek a way of permanently averting the horrors 
of cruel and bloody combat between countries, oftenest 
of one blood and speech, or the even worse calamity of 
internal commotion and civil strife , that it shall regard the 
burdensome and far-reaching consequences of such struggles, 
the legacies of exhausted finances, of oppressive debts, of 
onerous taxation, of ruined cities, of paralyzed industries, 
of devastated fields, of ruthless conscription, of the slaughter 

Civil Service and Foreign Relations. 201 

of men, of the grief of the widow and the orphan, of 
embittered resentments, that long survive tliose who provoke 
them and lieavily afflict the innocent generations that come 


{Mr. Bldine's letter in the Chicago Weekly Magazine.) 

The foreign policy of President Garfield's administration 
had two principal objects in view: First, to bring about 
peace and prevent future wars in North and South Amer- 
ica; Second, t>) cultivate such friendly, commercial relations 
with all American countries as would lead to a large increase 
in the export trade of the United States, by supplying 
those fabrics in whicli we are abundantly able to compete 
with the manufacturing nations of Europe. 

To attain the second object the first must be accom- 
plished. It w^ouhl be idle to attempt the development and 
enlargement of our trade with the countries of North and 
South America if that trade were liable at any unforeseen 
moment to be violently 


as that which for three years has engrossed and almost 
engulfed Chili, Peru, and Bolivia ; as that which was barely 
averted by the friendly offices of the United States between 
Chili and the Argentine Republic ; as that which has been 

202 Words of James G-. Blaine, 

postponed- by the same good offices, but not decisively 
abandoned, between Mexico and Guatemala ; as that which 
is threatened between Brazil and Uruguay ; as that which is 
even now foreshadowed between Brazil and the Arofentine 
States. Peace is essential to commerce, is the very life of 
honest trade, is the solid basis of international prosj^erity ; 
and yet there is no part of the world where a resort to 
arms is so prompt as in tlie Spanish American Republics. 
Those Republics have grown out of the old colonial divi- 
sions, formed from capricious grants to favorites by royal 
charter, and their boundaries are in many cases not clearly 
defined and consequently aiford the basis of continual 
disputes, breaking forth too often in open war. To induce 
the Spanish American States to adopt some peaceful mode 
of adjusting their frequently recurring contentions was 
regarded by the late President as one of the most honorable 
and useful ends to which the diplomacy of the United 
States could contribute — useful especially to those States by 
securing permanent peace withiii all their borders, and 
useful to our own country by affording a coveted oppor- 
tunity for extending its commerce and securing enlarged 
fields for our products and manufactures. 

Instead of friendly intervention here and there, patching 
up a treaty between two countries to-day, securing a truce 
between two others to-morrow, it was apparent to the Presi- 
dent that 


should be adopted if war was to cease in the Western 
hemisphere. It was evident that certain European powers 

Civil Service and Foreign Relations. 203 

had in the past been interested in promoting strife between 
the Spanish-American countries, and might be so interested 
in the future, while the interest of the United States was 
wholly and always on the side of peace with all our Ameri- 
can neighbors, and peace between them all. 

It was therefore the President's belief that mere incidental 
and partial adjustments failed to attain the desired end, and 
that- a common agreement of peace, permanent in its charac- 
ter and continental in its extent, should if possible be 
secured. To effect this end it had been resolved, before the 
fatal shot of July 2, to invite all the independent govern- 
ments of North and South America to meet in a Peace Con- 
gress at Washington. The date to be assigned was the fif- 
teenth of March, 1882, and the invitations would have been 
issued directly after the New England tour, which the Presi- 
dent was not permitted to make. Nearly six months later, 
on the twenty-second of November, President Garfield's 
successor issued the invitations for the Peace Congress in the 
same spirit and scoj)e and with the same limitations and 
restrictions that had been originally designed. 

As soon as the project was understood in South America 


and some of ^ the countries, not following the leisurely 
routine of diplomatic correspondence, made haste to accept 
the invitation. There can be no doubt that within a brief 
period all the nations invited Avould have formally signified 
their readiness to attend the Congress ; but in six weeks 
after the invitations had gone to the several countries, 

204 Words of James Gr. Blaine, 

President Arthur caused them to be recalled, or at least 
suspended. The subject was afterwards referred to Con- 
gress, in a special message, in which the President ably vin- 
dicated his constitutional right to assemble the Peace Con- 
gress, but expressed a desire that the legislative depart- 
ment of the government should give an opinion upon the 
expediency of the step before the Congress should be 
allowed to convene. Meanwhile the nations that received 
the invitations were in an embarrassing situation ; for after 
they were asked by the President to come, they found that 
the matter had been considered and referred to another 
department of the government. This change was univer- 
sally accepted as a practical though indirect abandonment of 
the project, for it was not from tlie first probable that Congress 
would take any action Avliatever upon the subject. The 
goodwill and welcome of the invitation would be destroyed 
by a long debate in the Senate and House, in which the 
question would necessarily become intermixed with per- 
sonal and party politics, and the project would be ultimately 
wrecked from the same cause and by the same process 
that destroyed the usefulness of the Panama Congress, more 
than fifty years ago, when Mr. Clay was Secretary of State. 
The time of congressional action would have been after 
the Peace Conference had closed its labors. The Con- 
ference could not agree upon anything that would be 
binding upon the United States, unless assented to as a 
treaty by the Senate, or enacted into a law by both 
branches. The assembling ol the Peace Conference, as Pres- 
ident Arthur so well demonstrated, was not in derogation 

Civil Service and Foreign Relations. 205 

of any right or prerogative of the Senate or House. The. 
money necessary for the expenses of the Conference — 
which would not have exceeded ten thousand dollars — could 
not, by reason of propriety, have been refused by Congress. 
If it had been refused, patriotism and philanthropy would 
have promptly supplied it. 

The Spanish-American States are in 


which the Peace Congress would afford them. They require 
external pressure to keep them from war. When at war 
they require external pressure to bring them to peace. 
Their outbreaks are not onl}^ frequent, but are sanguinary 
and sometimes cruel. The inhabitants of those countries 
are a brave people, belonging to a race that has always been 
brave, descended of men that have always been proud. 
They are of hot temper, quick to take affront, ready to 
avenge a wrong whether real or fancied. They are at the 
same time generous and chivalrous, and though tending for 
years past to estrangement and alienation from us, they would 
promptly respond to any advance made by the great Repub- 
lic o'f the North, as they have for two generations termed 
our government. The moral influence upon the Spanish- 
American people of such an international assembly as the 
Peace Congress, called by the invitation and meeting under 
the auspices of the United States, would have jDroved bene- 
ficent and far-reaching. It would have raised the standard 
of their civilization. It would have turned their attention 
to the things of peace ; and the continent, whose undevel- 

206 Words of James G-. Blaine. 

oped wealth amazed Humboldt, might have had a new life 
given to it, a new and splendid career opened, to its inhab- 

Such friendly interventions as the proposed Peace Con- 
gress, and as the attempt to restore peace between Chili and 
Peru, fall within the line of both duty and interest on the 
part of the United States. Nations, like individuals, often 


to restore relations of amity. Peru and Chili are in deplor- 
able need of a wise and powerful mediator. Though 
exhausted by w^ar, they are unable to make peace, and, unless 
they shall be aided by the intervention of a friend, political 
anarchy and social disorder will come to the conquered, and 
evils scarcely less serious to the conqueror. Our own gov- 
ernment cannot take the ground that it will not offer friendly 
intervention to settle troubles between American countries, 
unless at the same time it freely concedes to European gov- 
ernments the right of such intervention, and thus consents 
to a practical destruction of the Monroe doctrine, and an 
unlimited increase of European and monarchical influence 
on this continent. The late special envoy to Peru and Chili, 
Mr. Trescot, gives it as his deliberate and published conclu- 
sion that, if the instructions under which he set out upon 
his mission had not been revoked, peace between those angry 
belligerents would have been established as the result of his 
labors — necessarily to the great benefit of the United 
States. If our government does not resume its efforts to 
secure peace in. South America some European government 

Civil Service and Foreign Relations. 207 

will be forced to perform that friendly office. The United 
States cannot play between nations the part of a dog in the 
manger. We must perform the duty of humane intervention 
ourselves, or give way to foreign governments that are 
willing to accept the responsibility of the great trust and 
secure the enhanced influence and numberless advantages 
resulting from such a philanthropic and beneficent course. 


would have followed the assembling of the Peace Congress. 
A friendship and an intimacy would have been established 
between the states of North and South America, which 
would have demanded and enforced a closer commercial 
connection. A movement in the near future, as the legiti- 
mate- outgrowth of assured peace, would, in all probability, 
have been a great commercial conference at the City of 
Mexico or at Rio Janeiro, whose deliberations would be 
directed to a better system of trade on the two continents. 
To such a conference the Dominion of Canada could pro- 
perly be asked to send representatives, as that government 
is allowed by Great Britain a very large liberty in regu- 
lating its commercial relations. In the Peace Congress, 
to be composed of independent governments, the Dominion 
could not have taken any part, and was consequently not 
invited. From this trade conference of the two continents 
the United States could hardly have failed to gain great 
advantages. At present the commercial relations of this 
country with the Spanish-American countries, both conti- 
]iental and insular, are unsatisfactory and unprofitable — 

208 Words of James Gr. Blaine. 

indeed, those relations are absolutely oppressive to the 
financial interests of the government and people of the 
United States. In our current exchanges it requires about 
one hundred and twenty millions of dollars to pay the 
balance which Spanish America brings against us every year. 
This amount is fifty per cent, more than the average annual 
product of the gold and silver mines of the United States 
during the past five years. This vast sum does not of 
course go to Spanish America in coin, but it goes across 
the ocean in coin or its equivalent, to pay European coun- 
tries for manufactured articles which they furnish to Spanish 
America — a large proportion of which should be furnished 
by the manufacturers of the United States. 

At this point of the argument the free-trader appears and 
declares that our protective tariff 


with European countries, and that if we will abolish protec- 
tion we shall soon have South American trade. The answer 
is not sufficient, for to-day there are many articles which we 
can send to South America and sell as cheaply as European 
manufacturers can furnish them. It is idle, of course, to 
make this statement to the genuine apostle of free trade and 
the implacable, enemy of protection, for the great postulate 
of his argument, the foundation of his creed, is that nothing 
can be made as cheaply in America as in Europe. Never- 
theless, facts are stubborn and the hard figures of arithmetic 
cannot be satisfactorily answered by airy figures of speech. 
The truth remains that the coarser descriptions of cottons 

Civil Service and Foreign Relations. 209' 

and cotton prints, boots and shoes, ordinary household furni- 
ture, harness for draft animals, agricultural implements of all 
kinds, doors, sashes and blinds, locks, bolts and hinges, silver- 
ware, plated-ware, wooden-ware, ordinary papers and paper 
hangings, common vehicles, ordinary window glass and glass- 
ware, rubber goods, coal oils, lard oils, kerosenes, white lead, 
lead pipe and articles in which lead is a chief component, can 
be and are produced as cheaply in the United States as in 
any other part of the world. The list of such articles might 
be lengthened by the addition of those classed as " notions," 
but enough only are given to show that this country would, 
with proper commercial arrangements, export much more 
largely than it now does to Spanish America. 

In the trade relations of the world it does not follow that 


as another nation insures a division of an established 
market, or, indeed, any partici]:)ation in it. France 
manufactures many articles as cheaply as England — some 
articles at even less cost. Portugal lies nearer to France 
than to England, and the expense of transporting the French 
fabric to the Portuguese market is therefore less than the 
transportation of the English fabric. And yet Great Britain 
has almost a monopoly in the trade of Portugal. The same 
condition applies, though in a less degree, in the trade of 
Turkey, Syria, and Egypt, which England holds to a much 
greater extent than any of the other European nations that 
are able to produce the same fabric as cheaply. If it be said 
in answer that England has special trade relations by treaty 

210 Wo7%is of James G. Blaine. 

Avitli Portugal, and special obligations binding the other 
countries, the ready answer is that she has no more favorable 
position with regard to those countries than can be readily 
and easily acquired by the United States with respect to all 
the countries of America. That end will be reached when- 
ever the United States desires it and wills it, and is ready to 
take the steps necessary to secure it. At present the trade 
with Spanish America runs so strongly in channels averse to 
us that, besides our inability to furnish manufactured articles, 
we do not get the profit on our own raw products that are 
shipped there. Our petroleum reaches most of the Spanish- 
American ports after twice crossing the Atlantic, paying 
often a better profit to the European middle-man who 
handles it than it does to the producer of the oil in the 
northwestern counties of Pennsylvania. Flour and pork 
from the West reach Cuba by way of Spain, and though we 
bu}^ and consume ninety per cent, of the total products of 
Cuba, almost that jDroportion of her purchases are made in 
Europe — made, of course, with money furnished directly 
from our pockets. 


grow less, as European exports constantly grow larger, the 
balance against us will show an annual increase, and will 
continue to exhaust our supply of the precious metals. We 
are increasing our imports from South America, and the 
millions we annually pay for coffee, wool, hides, guano, 
cinchona, caoutchouc, cabinet-woods, dyewoods, and other 
articles, go for the ultimate benefit of European manufac- 

Civil Service ayid Foreign Relatio7is. 211 

turers who take the gold from us and send their fabrics to 
Spanish America. If we could send our fabrics our gold 
would stay at home, and our general prosperity would be 
sensibly increased. But so long as we repel Spanish Amer- 
ica', so long as we leave her to cultivate intimate relations 
with Europe alone, so long our trade relations will remain 
unsatisfactory and even embarrassing. Those countries sell 
to us very heavily. They buy from us very lightly. And the 
amount they bring us in debt each year is larger than the 
heaviest aggregate balance of trade we ever have against us 
in the worst of times. The average balance against us for 
the whole world in the five most adverse years we ever experi- 
enced was about one hundred millions of dollars. This plainly 
shows that in our European exchanges there is always a bal- 
ance in our favor, and that our chief deficiency arises from 
our maladjusted commercial relations with Spanish America. 
It follows that if our Spanish-American trade were placed 
on a better and more equitable foundation, it would be 
almost impossible, even in years most unfavorable to us, to 
bring us in debt to the world. 

With such heavy purchases as we are compelled to make 
from Spanish America, it could hardly be expected that we 
should be able to adjust the entire account by exports. But 
the balance against us of one hundred and twenty millions 
in gold coin is far too large and in time of stringency is a 
standing menace of financial disaster. It should not be 
forgotten that every million dollars of products or fabrics 
that we sell in Sj^anish America is a million of dollars in 
gold saved to our own country. The immediate profit is 

212 Words of James Gr. Blaine. 

to the producer and the exporter, but the entire country 
realizes a gain in the ease and affluence of the money 
market which is insured by keeping our gold at home. 
The question involved is so large, the object to be achieved 
is so great, that no effort on the x^art of the government to 
accomplish it could be too earnest or too long continued. 


designed under the administration of Garfield, that it was an 
important and impressive step on the part of the United 
States towards closer relationship with our continental 
neighbors. The present tendency in those countries is 
towards Europe, and it is a lamentable fact that their people 
are not so near to us in feeling as they were sixty years ago 
when they threw off the yoke of Spanish tyranny. We 
were then a weak republic of but ten millions, but we did 
not hesitate to recognize the independence of the new gov- 
ernments, even at the risk of a war with Spain. Our 
foreign policy at that time was especially designed to extend 
our influence in the Western hemisphere, and the statesmen 
of that era — the era of De Witt, Clinton, and the younger 
Adams, of Clay and of Crawford, of Webster and Calhoun, 
of Van Buren and Benton, of Jackson and of Edward Liv- 
ingston — were always courageous in the inspiring measures 
which they advocated for the expansion of our commercial 

Threescore years have passed. The power of the Repub- 
lic in many directions has grown beyond all anticipation, but 

Civil Service and Foreign Relations. 213 


in some great fields of enterprise. We have added thousands 
of miles to our ocean-front, but our commerce has fallen off, 
and from ardent friendship with Spanish America we have 
drifted into indifference if not into coldness. It is but one 
step further to reach a condition of positive unfriendliness, 
which may end in what would be equivalent to a commercial 
alliance against us. Already one of the most dangerous of 
movements — that of a European guaranty and guardian- 
ship of the Interoceanic Canal — is suggested and urged 
upon the great foreign powers by representatives of a South 
American country. If these tendencies are to be averted, 
if Spanish-American friendship is to be regained, if the com- 
mercial empire that legitimately belongs to us is to be ours, 
we must not lie idle and Avitness its transfer to others. If we 
would reconquer it a great first step is to be taken. It is 
the first step that costs. It is also the first step that counts. 
Can there be suggested a wiser step than the Peace Con- 
gress of the two Americas, that was devised under Garfield 
and had the weight of his great name ? 
In no event 


from the assembling of the Peace Congress. Failure was 
next to impossible. Success might be regarded as certain. 
The subject to be discussed was peace, and how it can be 
permanently preserved in North and South America. The 
labors of the Congress would have probably ended in a 
well-digested system of arbitration, under Avhich all future 

214 Words of James Cr. Blaine. 

troubles between American states could be quickly, effect- 
ually, and satisfactorily adjusted. Such a consummation 
would have been worth a great struggle and a great sac- 
rifice. It could have been reached without any struggle 
and would have involved no sacrifice. It was within our 
grasp. It was ours for the asking. It would have been a 
signal victory of philanthropy over selfishness of human 
ambition; a complete triumph of Christian principles as 
applied to the affairs of nations. It would have reflected 
enduring honor on our own country and— would have 
imparted a nev/ spirit and a new brotherhood to all America. 
Nor would its influence beyond the sea have been small. 
The example of seventeen independent nations solemnly 
agreeing to abolish the arbitrament of the sword, and to 
settle every dispute by peaceful methods of adjudication, 
would have exerted an influence to the utmost confines of 
civilization, and upon i;he generations of men yet to come. 

2. J 3 



We lament the death of President Garfield, whose sound statemanship, so long con- 
spicuous in Congress, gave promise of a strong and successful administration — a 
promise fully realized during the short period of his oilice as President of the United 
States; and his distinguished success in war and peace have endeared him to the 
hearts of the American people. — National Republican Convention, 1884. 

Mr. President ; For the second time in this generation 
the great departments of the government of the United 
States are assembled in the Hall of Representatives to do 
honor to the memory of a mnrdered President. Lincoln fell 
at the close of a mighty struggle in which the passions of 
men had been deeply stirred. The tragical termination 
of his great life added but another to the lengthened succes- 
sion of horrors which had marked so many lintels with the 
blood of the first-born. Garfield was slain in a day of peace, 
when brother had been reconciled to brother, and when 
anger and hate had been banished from the land. " Who- 
ever shall hereafter draw the portrait of murder, if he will 
show it as it has been exhibited where such example was 
last to have been looked for, let him not give it the grim 
visage of Moloch, the brow knitted by revenge, the face 
black with settled hate. Let him draw, rather, a decorous, 
smooth-faced, bloodless demon ; not so much an example of 
human nature in its depravity and in it^ paroxysms of crime, 

216 Words of James Cr. Blaine. 

as an infernal being, a fiend in the ordinary display and 
development of his character." 

From the landing of the Pilgrims at Plymouth till the 
uprising against Charles I, about twenty thousand emigrants 
came from Old England to New England. As they came in 
pursuit of intellectual freedom and ecclesiastical independ- 
ence rather than for worldly honor and profit, the emigration 
naturally ceased when the contest for religious liberty began 
in earnest at home. The man who struck his most effective 
blow for freedom of conscience b}^ sailing for the colonies 
in 1620 would have been accounted a deserter to leave after 
1640. The opportunity had then come on the soil of Eng- 
land for that great contest which established the authority 
of Parliament, 


sent Charles to the block, and committed to the hands of 
Oliver Cromwell the supreme executive authority of England. 
The English emigration was never renewed, and from these 
twenty thousand men, and from a small emigration from 
Scotland, from Ireland, and from France, are descended the 
vast nnmbers who have New England blood in their veins. 
In 1685, the revocation of the Edict of Nantes by Louis 
XIV scattered to other countries four hundred thousand 
Protestants, who were among the most intelligent and enter- 
prising of French subjects — merchants of capital, skilled 
manufacturers and handicraftsmen, superior at the time 

Garfield Memorial. 217 

to all otliers in Europe. A considerable number of these 
Huguenot French came to America ; a few landed in New 
England and became honorably prominent in its history. 
Their names have in part become anglicized, or have disap- 
peared, but their blood is traceable in many of the most 
reputable families, and their fame is perpetuated in honora- 
ble memorials and useful institutions. 

From these two sources, the English-Puritan and the 
P>ench-Huguenot, came the late President — his father, 
Abram Garfield, being descended from the one, and his 
mother, Eliza Ballon, from the other. 

It Avas good stock on both sides — none better, none 
braver, none truer. There was in it an inheritance of courage, 
of manliness, of imperishable love of liberty, of undying 
adherence to principle. 


and, with as much satisfaction as if he were a British noble- 
man reading his stately ancestral record in Bui'ke's Peerage, 
he spoke of himself as ninth in descent from those who 
would not endure the oppression of the Stuarts, the seventh 
in descent from the brave French Protestants who refused ' 
to submit to tyranny even from the Grand Monarque. 

General Garfield delighted to dwell on these traits, and, 
during his only visit to England, he busied himself in 
searching out every trace of his forefathers in parish registries 
and on ancient army-rolls Sitting with a friend in the 
gallery of the House of Commons, one night, after a long 
day's labor in this field of research, he said, with evident ela- 

218 Words of James G. Blaine. 

tion, that in every war in which for three centuries patriots 
of English blood had struck sturdy blows for constitutional 
government and human liberty, 


They were at Marston Moor, at Naseby, and at Preston; 
they were at Bunker Hill, at Saratoga, and at Monmouth; 
and in his own person had battled for the same great cause 
in the war which preserved the Union of the States. 

His father dyiiig before he was two years old, Garfield's 
early life was one of privation, but its poverty has been 


Thousands of readers have imagined him as the ragged, 
starving child, whose reality too often greets the eye in the 
squalid sections of our large cities. General Garfield's 
infancy and youth had none of this destitution, none of 
these pitiful features ap})ealing to the tender heart, and to 
the open hand, of charity. He was a poor boy in the same 
sense in which Henry Clay was a poor boy ; in which 
Andrew Jackson was a poor boy ; in which Daniel 
Webster was a poor boy ; in the sense in which a large 
majority of the eminent men of America in all generations 
have been poor boys. Before a great multitude in a public 
speech, Mr. Webster bore this testimony : — 

" It did not happen to me to be born in a log-cabin, but 
my elder brothers and sisters were born in a log-cabin raised 
amid the snowdrifts of New Hampshire, at a period so 
early that when the smoke rose first from its rude chimney 

Garfield Memorial. 219 

and curled over the frozen hills there was no similar evidence 
of a white man's habitation between it and the settlements 
on the rivers of C-anada. Its remains still exist. I make to 
it an annual visit. I carry my children to it to teach tliem 
the hardships endured by the generations which have gone 
before them. T love to dwell on the tender recollections, 
the kindred ties, the early affections, and the touching narra- 
tives and incidents, which mingle with all I know of this 
primitive family abode. " 

With the requisite change of scene the same words would 
aptly portray the early days of Garfield. The poverty of 
the frontier, where all are engaged in a common struggle 
and where a common sympathy and hearty co-oj)eration 
lighten the burdens of each, is a very different poverty, 
different in kind, different in influence and effect, from the 
conscious and humiliating indigence which is every day 
forced to contrast itself with neighboring wealth on which 
it feels a sense of grinding dependence. 


It is but the beginning of wealth, and has the boundless 
possibilities of the future always opening before it. No 
man ever grew up in the agricultural regions of the West, 
where a house-raising, or even a corn-husking, is matter of 
common interest and helpfulness, with any other feeling 
than that of broad-minded, generous independence. This 
honorable independence marked the youth of Garfield, as it 
marks the youth of millions of the best blood and brain now 
training for the future citizenship and future government of 

220 Words of James G. Blaine. 

the Republic. Garfield was born heir to land, to the title of 
freeliolder, which has been the patent and passport of self- 
respect with the Anglo-Saxon race ever since Hengist and 
Horsa landed on the shores of England. His adventure on 
the canal — an alternative between that and the deck of 
a Lake Erie schooner — was a farmer-boy's device for earn- 
ing money, just as the New England lad begins a possibly 
great career by sailing before the mast on a coasting-vessel, 
or on a merchantman bound to the farther India or to the 
China seas. 


in looking back to early struggles with adverse circumstances, 
and no man feels a worthier pride than when he has con- 
quered the obstacles to his progress. But no one of noble 
mould desires to be looked upon as having occupied a menial 
position, as having been repressed by a feeling of inferiority, 
or as having suffered the evils of poverty until relief- was 
found at the hand of charity. General Garfield's youth 
presented no hardships which famil}^ love and family energy 
did not overcome, subjected him to no privations which he 
did not cheerfully accept, and left no memories save those 
which were recalled with delight, and transmitted with 
profit and with pride. 


for securing an education were extremely limited, and yet 
were sufficient to develop in him an intense desire to learn. 
He could read at three years of age, and each winter he had 
the advantage of the district-school. He read all the books 

G-arjield 3Iemorial. 221 

to be found within the circle of his acquaintance , some of 
them he got by heart. While yet in childhood he was a 
constant student of the Bible, and became familiar with its 
literature. The dignity and earnestness of his speech in his 
maturer life gave evidence of this early training. At eight- 
een years of age he was able to teach school, and thencefor- 
ward his ambition was to obtain a college education. To 
this end he bent all his efforts, working in the harvest-field, 
at the carpenter's bench, and, in the winter season, teaching 
the common-schools of the neighborhood. While thus labo- 
riously occupied he found time to prosecute his studies, and 
was so successful that at twenty-two years of age he was able 
to enter the junior class at Williams College, then under 
the presidency of the venerable and honored Mark Hopkins, 
who, in the fulness of his powers, survives the eminent 
pupil to whom he was of inestimable service. 

The history of Garfield's life to this period presents no 
novel features. He had undoubtedly shown perseverance, 
self-reliance, self-sacrifice, and ambition — qualities which, 
be it said for the honor of our country, are everywhere to 
be found among the young men of America. But from his 
graduation at Williams onward, to the hour of his tragical 
death, Garfield's career was eminent and exceptional. Slowly 
working through his educational period, receiving his di- 
ploma when twenty-four years of age, he seemed at one 
bound to spring into conspicuous and brilliant success. 
Within six years he was successively president of a college. 
State senator of Ohio, major-general of the army of the 
United States, and Representative-elect to the National 
Congress. A combination of honors so varied, so elevated. 

222 Words of James Gr. Blaine. 

within a period so brief and to a man so young, is without 
precedent or parallel in the history of the country. 


was begun with no other military knowledge than such as 
he had hastily gained from books in the few months pre- 
ceding his march to the field. Stepping from civil life to the 
head of a regiment, the first order he received when ready 
to cross to Ohio was to assume command of a brigade, and 
to operate as an independent force in Eastern Kentucky. 
His immediate duty was to clieck the advance of Humphrey 
Marsliall, who was marching down the Big Sandy with the 
intention of occupying, in connection Avith the other Con- 
federate forces, the entire territory of Kentucky, and of 
precipitating the State into secession. This was at the 
close of the year 1861. Seldom, if ever, has a young college 
professor been thrown into a more embarrassing and dis- 
couraging position. He knew just enough of military science, 
as he expressed it himself, to measure the extent of his 
ignorance, and with a handful of men he was marching, in 
rough winter weather, into a strange country, among a 
hostile population, to confront a largely superior force under 
the command of a distinguished graduate of West Point, 
who had seen active and important service in two preceding 


is matter of history. The skill, the endurance, the extra- 
ordinary energy shown by Garfield, the courage he imparted 
to his men, raw and untried as himself, the measures he 

Garfield Memorial. 223 

adopted to increase his force and create in the enemy's 
mind exaggerated estimates of his numbers, bore perfect 
fruit in the routing of Marshall, the capture of his camp, the 
dispersion of his force, and the emancipation of an important 
territory from the control of the rebellion. Coming at the 
close of a long series of disasters to the Union arms, 
Garfield's victory had an unusual and extraneous impor- 
tance, and in the popular judgment elevated- the young 
commander to the rank of a military hero. With less than 
two thousand men in his entire command, Avith a mobilized 
force of only eleven hundred, without cannon, he had met 
an army of five thousand and defeated them — driving 
Marshall's forces successively from two strongholds of their 
own selection, fortified with abundant artillery. Major- 
General Buell, commanding the department of the Ohio, 
an experienced and able soldier of the regular army, 
published an order of thanks and congratulation on the 
brilliant result of the Big Sandy campaign, which would 
have turned the head of a less cool and sensible man 
than Garfield. Buell declared that his services had called 
into action the highest qualities of a soldier, and President 
Lincoln supplemented these ' )rds of praise by the more 
substantial reward of a brigadier-general's commission, 
to bear date from the day of his decisive victory over 


of Garfield fully sustained its brilliant beginning. With 
his new commission he was assigned to the command of a 
brigade in the army of the Ohio, and took part in the 

224 Words of James G. Blai 


second and decisive day's fight on the bloody field of 
Shiloh. The remainder of the year 1862 was not especially 
eventful to Garfield, as it was not to the armies with 
which he was serving. His practical sense was called into 
exercise in completing the task, assigned him by General 
Bnell, of reconstructing bridges and re-establishing lines 
of railway communication for the army. His occupation 
in this useful but not brilliant field was varied by service 
on courts-martial of importance, in which department of 
duty he won a valuable reputation, attracting the notice 
and securing the approval of the able and eminent judge 
advocate-general of the army. This of itself was warrant 
to honorable fame ; for among the great men who in those 
trying days gave themselves, with entire devotion, to the 
service of their country, one who brought to that service 
the ripest learning, the most fervid eloquence, the most 
varied attainments, who labored witli modesty and shunned 
applause, wlio in the day of triumph sat reserved and silent 
and grateful, — as Francis Deak in the liour of Hungary's 
deliverance, — was Jose23h Holt, of Kentucky, who in his 
honorable retirement enjoys the respect and veneration of 
all wlio love the Union of the States. 

Early in 1863 Garfield was assigned to the highly impor- 
tant and responsible post of chief of-staff to General Rose- 
crans, then at the head of the army of the Cumberland. 
Perhaps in a great military campaign no subordinate officer 
requires sounder judgment and quicker knowledge of men 
than the chief-of-staff to the commanding general. An indis- 
creci man in such a position can sow more discord, breed 

Q-arjitld Memorial. 225 

more jealousy, and disseminate more strife, than any other 
othcer in the entire organization. When General Garfield 
assumed his new duties he found various troubles already 
well developed and seriously affecting the value and efficiency 
of the army of the Cumberland. The energy, the impartial- 
ity, and the tact, with which he sought to allay these dissen- 
sions, and to discharge the duties of his new and trying 
position, will always remain one of the most striking proofs 
of his great versatility. His mil/tary duties closed 


a field which, however disastrous to the Union arms, gave to 
him the occasion of winning imperishable laurels. The 
very rare distinction was accorded him of a great promotion 
for bravery on a field that was lost. President Lincoln 
appointed him a major-general in the army of the United 
States for gallant and meritorious conduct in the battle of 

The army of the Cumberland was reorganized under the 
command of General Thomas, who promptly offered Garfield 
one of its divisions. He was extremely desirous to accept 
the position, but was embarrassed by the fact that he had, 
a year before, been elected to Congress, and the time when 
he must take his seat was drawing near. He preferred to 
remain in the military service, and had within his own breast 
the largest confidence of success in the wider field which his 
new rank opened to him. Balancing the arguments on the 
one side and the other, anxious to determine what was for 
the best, desirous above all things to do his patriotic duty, 
he was decisively influenced by the advice of President 

226 Wo7\is of James Gr. Blaine. 

Lincoln and Secretary Stanton, both of whom assured him 
that he could, at that time, be of especial value in the House 
of Representatives. He resigned his commission of major- 
general on the fifth day of December, 1863, and took his seat 
in the House of Representatives on the seventh. He had 
served two years and four months in the army, and had just 
comjDleted his thirty-second year. 


is pre-eminently entitled in" history to the designation of the 
War Congress. It was elected while the war was flagrant, 
and every member was chosen upon the issues involved in 
the continuance of the struggle. The Thirty-seventh Con- 
gress had, indeed, legislated to a large extent on war 
measures, but it was chosen before any one believed that 
secession of the States would be actually attempted. The 
magnitude of the work which fell upon its successor was 
unprecedented, both in respect to the vast sums of money 
raised for the support of the army and navy, and of the new 
and extraordinary powers of legislation which it was forced 
to exercise. Only twenty-four States were represented, and 
one hundred and eighty-two members were upon its roll. 
Among these were many distinguished party leaders on both 
sides, veterans in the public service, with established repu- 
tations for ability, and with that skill which comes only from 
parliamentary experience. Into this assemblage of men 


without special preparation, and. it might almost be said, 
unexpectedly. The question of taking command of a divi- 

aarfield Memorial 227 

sioii of troops under General Thomas, or taking his seat in 
Congress, was kept open till the last moment, so late, indeed, 
that the resignation of his military commission and his 
appearance in the House were almost contemporaneous. He 
wore the uniform of a major-general of the United States 
army on Saturday, and on Monday, in civilian's dress, he 
answered to the roll-call as a Representative in Congress 
from the State of Ohio. 
He was especially 


which elected him. Descended almost entirely from New 
England stock, the men of the Ashtabula district were 
intensely radical on all questions relating to human rights. 
Well-educated, thrifty, thoroughly intelligent in affairs, 
acutely discerning of character, not quick to bestow confidence, 
and slow to withdraw it, they were at once the most helpful 
and most exacting of supporters. Their tenacious trust in 
men in whom they have once confided is illustrated by the 
unparalleled fact that Elisha Whittlesey, Joshua R. Giddings, 
and James A. Garfield, represented the district for fifty-four 

There is no test of a man's ability in any department of 
public life more severe than service in the House of Repre- 
sentatives ; there is no place where so little deference is paid 
to reputation previously acquired, or to eminence won out- 
side ; no place where so little consideration is shown for the 
feelings or the failures of beginners. What a man gains in 
the house he gains by sheer force of his own character, and if 

228 Words of James G-. Blaine. 

he loses and falls back he must expect no ni^rcy, and will 
receive no sympathy. It is a field in which the survival of 
the strongest is the recognized rule, and where no pretence 
can deceive and no glamour can mislead. The Teal man is 
discovered, his worth is impartially weighed, his rank is 
irreversibly decreed. 

With possibly a single exception, Garfield w^as the 


and was but seven years from his college graduation. But 
he had not been in liis seat sixty days before his ability was 
recognized and liis place conceded. He stepped to the front 
with the confidence of one who belonged there. The House 
was crowded with strong men of both parties ; nineteen of 
them have since been transferred to tlie Senate, and many of 
them have served with distinction in the gubernatorial 
cliairs of their respective States and on foreign missions of 
great consequence ; but among them all none grew so rapidly, 
none so firmly, as Garfield. As is said by Trevelyan of his 
parliamentary hero, Garfield succeeded "because all the 
world in concert could not have kept him in the background, 
and because when once in the front he played his part with a 
prompt intrepidity and a commanding ease that were but the 
outward symptoms of the immense reserves of energy on 
which it was in his power to draw." Indeed, the apparently 
reserved force Avhich Garfield possessed was one of his great 
characteristics. He never did so well but that it seemed he 
could easily have done better. He never expended so much 
strength but that he appeared to be holding additional 

aarfield Memorial. 229 

power af call. This is one of the happiest and rarest dis- 
tinctions of an effective debater, and often counts for as 
much, in persuading an assembly, as the eloquent and elabo- 
rate argument. 

The great measure of Garfield's fame was filled by his 
service in the House of Representatives. His military life, 
illustrated by honorable performance, and rich in promise, 
was, as he himself felt, prematurely terminated and neces- 
sarily incomplete. Speculation as to what he might have 
done in a field where the great prizes are so few cannot be 
profitable. It is sufficient to say that as a soldier he did his 
duty bravely ; he did it intelligently ; he won an enviable 
fame, and he retired from the service without blot or breath 
against him. As a lawyer, though admirably equipped for the 
profession, he can scarcely be said to have entered on its 
practice. The few efforts he made at the bar were distin- 
guished by the same high order of talent which he exhibited 
on every field where he w\as put to the test ; and, if a man 
may be accepted as a competent judge of his own capacities 
and adaptations, the law was the profession to which Garfield 
should have devoted himself. But fate ordained otherwise, 
and his reputation in history will rest largely upon his ser- 
vice in the House of Representatives. That service was 
exceptionally long. He was nine times consecutively chosen 
to the House, an honor enjoyed probably by not twenty 
other Representatives of the more than five thousand who 
have been elected from the organization of the government 
to this hour. 

230 Words of James Cr. Blaine. 


as a debater on an issue squarely joined, where the position 
had been chosen and the ground laid out, Garfield must be 
assigned a very high rank. More, perhaps, than any man 
with whom he was associated in public life, he gave careful 
and systematic study to public questions, and he came to 
every discussion in which he took part with elaborate and 
complete preparation. He was a steady and indefatigable 
worker. Those who imagine that talent or genius can supply 
the place or achieve the results of labor will find no 
encouragement in Garfield's life. In preliminary work he 
was apt, rapid, and skilful. He possessed in a high degree 
the power of readily absorbing ideas and facts, and, like Dr. 
Johnson, had the art of getting from a book all that Avas of 
value in it by a reading apparently so quick and cursory 
that it seemed like a mere glance at the table of contents. 
He was a pre-eminently fair and candid man in debate, took 
no petty advantage, stooped to no unworthy methods, 
avoided personal allusions, rarely appealed to prejudice, did 
not seek to inflame passion. He had a quicker eye for the 
strong point of his adversary than for his Aveak point, and 
on his own side he so marshaled his weighty arguments as 
to make his hearers forget any possible lack in the complete 
strength of his position. He had a habit of stating his 
opponent's side with such amplitude of fairness and such 
liberality of concession that his followers often complained 
that he was giving his case aw^ay. But never in his pro- 
longed participation in the proceedings of the House did he 
give his case away, or fail in the judgment of competent and 
impartial listeners to gain the mastery. 

(Garfield Memorial 231 

These characteristics, which marked Garfielcl as a great 
debater, did not, hoAvever, make him a great parliamentary 


as that term is understood wherever free representative gov- 
ernment exists, is necessarily and very strictly the organ of 
his party. An ardent American defined the instinctive 
warmth of patriotism when he offered the toast : " Our 
country always right ; but right or wrong, our country." 
The parliamentary leader who has a body of followers that 
will do and dare and die for the cause is one who believes 
his party always right, but right or wrong is for his party. 
No more important or exacting duty devolves upon him than 
the selection of the field and the time for contest. He must 
know not merely how to strike, but where to strike and 
when to strike. He often skilfully avoids the strength of 
his opponent's position and scatters confusion in his ranks 
by attacking an exposed point when really the righteousness 
of the cause and the strength of logical intrenchment are 
against him. He conquers often against the right and the 
heavy battalions ; as when young Charles Fox, in the days 
of his Toryism, carried the House of Commons against 
justice, against its immemorial rights, against his own convec- 
tions, if, indeed, at that period. Fox had convictions, and, 
in the interest of a corrupt administration, in obedience to 
a tyrannical sovereign, drove Wilkes from the seat to which 
the electors of Middlesex had chosen him, and installed 
Luttrell, in defiance not merely of law but of public decency. 
'For achievement- of that kind Garfield was disqualified — 

232 Words of .James Gr. Blaine. 

disqualified by the texture of his mind, by the honesty of 
his heart, by his conscience, and by every instinct and 
aspiration of his nature. 


hitherto developed in this country are Mr. Clay, Mr. Doug- 
las, and Mr. Thaddeus Stevens. They were all men of con- 
summate ability, of great earnestness, of intense personalit}^, 
differing widely each from the others, and yet with a single 
trait in common — the power to command. In the give-and- 
take of daily discussion, in the art of controlling and consoli- 
dating reluctant and refractory followers, in the skill to 
overcome all forms of opposition, and to meet with compe- 
tency and courage the varying phases of unlooked-for 
assault or unsuspected defection, it would be difficult to rank 
with these a fourth name in all our congressional history. 
But of these Mr. Clay was the greatest. It would, perhaps, 
be impossible to find in the parliamentary annals of the world 
a parallel to Mr. Clay, in 1841, when at sixty-four years of 
age he took the control of the Whig party from the Presi- 
dent wdio had received their suffrages, against the power of 
Webster in the Cabinet, against the eloquence of Choate in 
the Senate, against the herculean efforts of Caleb Cushing 
and Henry A. Wise in the House. In unshared leadership, 
in the pride and plenitude of power, he hurled against John 
Tyler with deepest scorn the mass of that conquering column 
which had swept over the land in 1810, and drove his admin- 
istration to seek shelter behind the lines of its political foes. 
Mr. Douglas achieved a victory scarcely less wonderful 

G-arfield Memorial, 233 

v/hen, in 1854, against tlie secret desires of a strong adminis- 
tration, against the wise counsel of the older chiefs, against 
the conservative instincts and even the moral sense of the 
country, he forced a reluctant Congress into a repeal of the 
Missouri Compromise. Mr. Thaddeus Stevens in his con- 
tests from 1865 to 1868 actually advanced his parliamentarv 
leadership until Congress tied the hands of the President and 
governed the country hj its own will, leaving only perfunc- 
tory duties to be discharged by the Executive. With two 
hundred millions of patronage in his hands at the opening of 
the contest, aided by the active force of Seward in tlie Cabi- 
net and the moral power of Chase on the bench, Andrew 
Johnson could not command the support of one third in 
either House against the parliamentary uprising of which 
Thaddeus Stevens was the animating spirit and the unques- 
tioned leader. From these 


differed in the quality of his mind, in teiiiperament, in the 
form and phase of ambition. Pie could not do what they 
did, but he could do what they could not, and in the breadth 
of his congressional work he left that which will longer 
exert a potential influence among men, and which, measured 
by the severe test of posthumous criticism, will secure a 
more enduring and more enviable fame. 

Those unfamiliar with Garfield's industry, and ignorant of 
the details of his work, may, in some degree, measure them 
by the annals of Congress. No one of the generation of 
public men to which he belonged has contributed so much 

234 Words of James Gr. Blaine. 

that will prove valuable for future refereuce. His speeches 
are numerous, many of them brilliant, all of them well 
studied, carefully phrased, and exliaustive of the subject 
under consideration. Collected from the scattered pages of 
ninety royal octavo volumes of Congressional record, they 
would present an invaluable compendium of the political 
events of the most important era through which the National 
Government has ever passed. When the history of this 
period shall l^e impartially written, when war legislation, 
measures of reconstruction, protection of human rights, 
amendments to the Constitution, maintenance of public 
credit, steps toward specie resumption, true theories of 
revenue, may be reviewed, unsurrounded by prejudice and 
disconnected from partisanism, the speeches of Garfield will 
be estimated at their true value, and will be found to com- 
prise a vast magazine of fact and argument, of clear anal- 
ysis and sound conclusion. Indeed, if no other authority 
were accessible, his speeches in the House of Representatives 
from December, 1863, to June, 1880, would give a well- 
connected history and complete defence of the important 
legislation of the seventeen eventful years that constitute 
his parliamentary life. Far beyond tliat, his speeches would 
be found to forecast many great measures yet to be com- 
pleted — measures which he knew were beyond the public 
opinion of the hour, but which he confidently believed 
would secure popular approval within the period of his 
own lifetime and by the aid of his own efforts. 

Differing, as Garfield does from the parliamentary leaders, 

Garfield Memorial. 235 


anywhere in tlie record of American public life. He, per- 
haps, more nearly resembles INlr. Seward in his supren:!e faith 
in the all-conquering power of a principle. He had the love 
of learning, and the patient industry of investigation, to 
Avhich John Quincy Adams owes his prominence and his 
presidency. He had some of those ponderous elements of 
mind which distinguished Mr. Webster, and which, indeed, 
in all our public life have left the great Massachusetts Sen- 
ator without an intellectual peer. 

In English parliamentary history, as in our own, the lead- 
ers in the House of Commons present points cf essential 
difference from Garfield. But some of his methods recall 
the best features in the strong, independent course of Sir 
Robert Peel, to whom he had striking resemblances in the 
tj^pe of his mind and in the habit of his speech. He had all 
of Burke's love for the sublime and the beautiful, with, pos- 
sibly, something of his superabundance. In his faith and 
his magnanimit}^, in his power of statement, in his subtle 
analysis in his faultless logic, in his love of literature, in his 
wealth and world of illustration, one is reminded of that 
great English statesman of to-day, who, confronted with 
obstacles that would daunt any but the dauntless, reviled by 
those whom lie would relieve as bitterly as by those whose 
supposed rights he is forced to invade, still labors ^Aith 
serene courage for the amelioration of Ireland and for the 
honor of the English name. ■ 

Garfield's nomination to the presidency, while not pre- 
dicted or anticipated, was not a surprise to the country. 

236 Words of James a. Blai 


His prominence in Congress, his solid qualities, his wide 
reputation, strengthened by his then recent election as 
Senator from Ohio, kept him in the public eye as a man 
occupying the very highest rank among those entitled to be 
called statesmen. It was not mere chance that brought 
him this high honor. " We must," says Mr. Emerson, 
"reckon success a constitutional trait. If Eric is in robust 
health and slept well and is at the top of his condition, 
and thirty years old at his departure from Greenland, he 
Avill steer west and his ships will reach Newfoundland. 
But take Eric out and put in a stronger and bolder man, 
and the ships will sail six hundred, one thousand, fifteen 
hundred miles, farther and reach Labrador and New Eng- 
land. There is no chance in results." ^ 

As a candidate, Garfield steadily grew in popular favor. 
He was met Avith a storm of detraction at the very hour of 
his nomination, and it continued with increasing volume 
and momentum until tlie close of his victorious campaign : 

''No might nor greatness in mortality 
Can censure 'scape ; backwounding calumny 
The whitest virtue strikes. What king so strong 
Can tie the gall up in the slanderous tongue ? " 

Under it all lie was calm and strong and confident ; never 
lost his self-possession, did no unwise act, spoke no hasty 
or ill-considered word. Indeed, nothing in his whole life is 
more remarkable or more creditable than his bearing 
through five full months of vituperation — a prolonged 
agony of trial to a sensitive man, a constant and cruel draft 

G-ar field Memorial, 237 

upon the powers of moral endurance. The great mass of 
these unjust imputations passed unnoticed, and with the 
general debris of the campaign fell into oblivion. But in 
a few instances the iron entered his soul, and he died with 
the injury unforgotten if not unforgiven. 

One aspect of Garfield's candidacy was unprecedented. 
Never before, in the history of partisan contests in this coun- 
try, had a successful presidential candidate 


and current issues. To attempt anything of the kind seemed 
novel, rash, and even desperate. The older class of voters 
recalled the unfortunate Alabama letter, in which Mr. Clay 
was supposed to have signed his political death-warrant. 
They remembered, also, the hot-tempered effusion by which 
General Scott lost a large share of his popularity before his 
nomination, and the unfortunate speeches which rapidly con- 
sumed the remainder. The younger voters had seen Mr. 
Greeley, in a series of vigorous and original addresses, pre- 
paring the pathway for his own defeat. Unmindful of these 
warnings, unheeding the advice of friends, Garfield spoke to 
large crowds as he journeyed to and from New York in 
August, to a great multitude in that city, to delegations and 
deputations of every kind that called at Mentor during the 
summer and autumn. With innumerable critics, watchful 
and eager to catch a phrase that might be turned into odium 
or ridicule, or a sentence that might be distorted to his own 
or his party's injury, Garfield did not trip or halt in any one 
of liis seventy speeches. This seems all the more remarkable 

238 Words of James G. Blaine. 

when it is remembered that he did not write what he said, 
and yet spoke with such logical consecutiveness of thought 
and such admirable precision of phrase as to defy the 
accident of misreport and the malignity of misrepresenta- 

In the beginning of his presidential life Garfield's 
experience did 


The duties that engross so large a portion of the Presi- 
dent's time were distasteful to- him, and were unfavorably 
contrasted Avitli his legislative work. " I have been dealing 
all these years with ideas," he impatiently exclaimed one 
day, " and here I am dealing only with persons. I have been 
heretofore treating of the fundamental principles of govern- 
ment, and here I am considering all day whether A or B 
shall be appointed to this or that office." He was earnestly 
seeking some practical way of correcting the evils arising 
from the distribution of overgrown'and unwieldy patronage 
— evils alwaj^s appreciated and often discussed by him, but 
whose magnitude had been more deeply impressed upon his 
mind since his accession to the presidency. Had he lived, 
a comprehensive improvement in the mode of appointment 
and in the tenure of office would have been proposed by him, 
and, with the aid of Congress, no doubt perfected. 

But, while many of the executive duties were not grateful 
to him, he was assiduous and conscientious in their dis- 
charge. From the very outset 

Crar field Memorial. 239 


of a high order. He grasped the helm of office with the 
hand of a master. In this respect, indeed, he constantly sur- 
prised many who were most intimately associated with him 
in the government, and especially those who had feared that 
he might be lacking in the executive faculty. His disposi- 
tion of business was orderly and rapid. * His power of 
analysis, and his skill in classification, enabled him to 
despatch a vast mass of detail with singular promptness and 
ease. His Cabinet meetings were admirably conducted. 
His clear presentation of official subjects, his well-considered 
suggestion of topics on Avhich discussion was invited, his 
quick decision when all had been heard, combined to show 
a thoroughness of mental training as rare as his natural 
ability and his facile adaptation to a new and enlarged field 
of labor. 

With perfect comprehension of all the inheritances of the 
war, with a cool calculation of the obstacles in his way, 
impelled always by a generous enthusiasm, Garfield conceived 
that much might be done by his administration toward 


of the Union. He was anxious to go South and speak to 
the people. As early as April he had ineffectually endeav- 
ored to arrange for a tri^^ to Nashville, whither he had been 
cordially iuA^ted, and he was again disappointed a few weeks 
later to find that he could not go to South Carolina to 
attend the centennial celebration of the victory of the C'.-v.- 

240 Wo?'ds of James Gr. Blaine, 

pens. But for tlie autumn he definitely counted on being 
present at three memorable assemblies in the South ; the 
celebration at Yorktown, the opening of the Cotton Exposi- 
tion at Atlanta, and the meeting of the army of the 
Cumberland at Chattanooga. He was already turning over 
in his mind his address for each occasion, and the three 
taken together, he said to a friend, gave him the exact scope 
and verge which he needed. At Yorktown he would have 
before him the associations of a hundred years that bound 
the South and the North in the sacred memory of a common 
danger and a common victory. At Atlanta he would 
present the material interests and .the industrial devel- 
opment which appealed to the thrift and independence 
of every household, and which should unite the two 
sections by the instinct of self-interest and self-defence. 
At Chattanooga he would revive memories of the war 
only to show that after all its disaster and all its suf- 
fering, the country Avas stronger and greater, the Union 
rendered indissoluble, and the future, through the agony and 
blood of one generation, made brighter and better for all. 


of his administration was high. With strong caution and 
conservatism in his nature, he was in no danger of attempt- 
ing rash experiments or of resorting to the empiricism of 
statesmansliip. But he believed that renewed and closer 
attention should be given to questions affecting the material 
interests and commercial prospects of fifty millions of peo23le. 
He believed that our continental relations, extensive and 

G-arfield Memorial, 241 

undeveloped as they are, involved responsibility, and could 
be cultivated into profitable friendship or be abandoned to 
harmful indifference or lasting enmity. He believed with 
equal confidence that an essential forerunner to a new era of 
national progress must be a feeling of contentment in every 
section of the Union, and a generous belief that the benefits 
and burdens of government would be common to all. Him- 
self a conspicuous illustration of what ability and ambition 
may do under Republican institutions, he loved his country 
with a passion of patriotic devotion, and every waking 
thought was given to her advancement. He was an Ameri- 
can in all his aspirations, and he looked to the destiny and 
influence of the United States with the philosophic composure 
of Jefferson and the demonstrative confidence of John 

The political events which disturbed the President's 
serenity for many weeks before that fatal day in July form 
an important chapter in his career, and, in his own judgment, 
involved questions of principle and of right which are vitally 
essential to the constitutional administration of the Federal 
government. It would be out of place here and now to 
speak the language of controversy ; but the events referred 
to, however they may continue to be source of contention 
with others, have become, so far as Garfield is concerned, as 
much a matter of history as his heroism at Chickamauga or 
his illustrious service in the House. Detail is not needful, 
and personal antagonism shall not be rekindled by any 
word uttered to-day. The motives of those opposing him 
are not to be here adversely interpreted nor their course 
harshly characterized. But of the dead President this is to 

242 Words of James G. Bhmie. 

be said, and said because his own speech is forever silenced 
and he can be no more heard except tlu^ough the fidelity 
and love of surviving friends : from the beginning to the 
end of the controversy he so much deplored, the President 
was never for one moment actuated by any motive of gain 
to himself or of loss to others. Least of all men did he har- 
bor revenge, rarely did he even show resentment, and malice 
was not in his nature. He was congenially employed only 
in the exchange of good offices and the doing of kindly deeds. 
There was not an hour, from the beginning of the trouble 
till the fatal shot entered his body, when the President 
would not gladly, for the sake of restoring harmony, 


if such retracing had merely involved consequences personal 
to himself. The pride of consistency, or any supposed 
sense of humiliation that might result from surrendering his 
position, had not a feather's weight with him. No man was 
less subject to such influences from within or from without. 
But after most anxious deliberation and the coolest survey 
of all the circumstances, he solemnly believed that the true 
prerogatives of the Executive were involved in the issue 
which had been raised, and that he would be unfaithful 
to his supreme obligation if he failed to maintain, in all their 
vigor, the constitutional rights and dignities of his great 
office. He believed this in all the convictions of conscience 
when in sound and vigorous health, and he believed it in his 
suffering and prostration, in the last conscious thought 
which his wearied mind bestowed on the transitory struggles 
of life. 

G-arfield Memorial. 243 

More than this need not be said. Less than this coukl not 
be said. Justice to the dead, the highest obligation that 
devolves upon the living, demands the declaration that, in all 
the bearings of the subject, actual or possible, the President 
was content in his mind, justified in his conscience, immova- 
ble in his conclusions. 


in Garfield's character was deep and earnest. In his early 
youth he espoused the faith of the Disciples, a sect of that 
great Baptist communion, which in different ecclesiastical 
establishments is so numerous and so influential throughout 
all parts of the United States. But the broadening tendency 
of his mind and his active spirit of inquiry were early appar- 
ent, and carried him beyond the dogmas of sect and the 
restraints of association. In selecting a college in which to 
continue his education he rejected Bethany, though presided 
over by Alexander Campbell, the greatest preacher of his 
church. - His reasons were characteristic ; first, that Bethany 
leaned too heavily towards slavery ; and, second, that being 
himself a Disciple and the son of Disciple parents, he had 
little acquaintance with people of other beliefs, and he 
thought it would make him more liberal, quoting his own 
words, both in his religious and general views, to go into 
a new circle and be under new influences. 


which he anticipated as the result of wider culture was fully 
realized. He was emancipated from mere sectarian belief, 

244 Words of James G-. Blaine. 

and with eager interest pushed his investigations in the 
direction of modern progressive thought. He followed with 
quickening step in the paths of exploration and speculation 
so fearlessly trodden by Darwin, by Huxley, by Tyndall, and 
by other living scientists of the radical and advanced type. 
His own church, binding its disciples by no formulated 
creed, but accepting the Old and New Testaments as the 
word of God, with unbiased liberality of private interpreta- 
tion, favored, if it did not stimulate, the spirit of investiga- 
tion. Its members profess with sincerity, and profess only, 
to be of one mind and one faith with those Avho -immediately 
followed the Master, and who were first called Christians at 

But however high Garfield reasoned of " fixed fate, free 
will, foreknowledge absolute," lie was never separated from 
the church of the Disciples in his affections and in his asso- 
ciations. For him it held the Ark of the Covenant. To 
him it was the gate of heaven. The world of religious 
belief is full of solecisms and contradictions. A philosophic 
observer declares that men by the thousand will die in 
defence of a creed whose doctrines they do not comprehend 
and whose tenets they habitually violate. It is equally 
true that men by the thousand will cling to church organiza- 
tions with instinctive and undying fidelity when their belief 
in maturer years is radically different from that which 
inspired them as neophytes. 

But after this range of speculation, and this latitude of 
doubt, Garfield came back always with freshness and delight 
to the 

Grarfield Memorial. 245 


which, earliest implanted, longest survive. Not many weeks 
before his assassination, walking on the banks of the Poto- 
mac with a friend, and conversing on those topics of personal 
religion, concerning which noble natures have an uncon- 
querable reserve, he said that he found the Lord's Prayer and 
the simple petitions learned in infancy infinitely restful to 
him, not merely in their stated repetition, but in their casual 
and frequent recall as he went about the daily duties of life. 
Certain texts of scripture had a very strong liold on his 
memory and his heart. He heard, wdiile in Edinburgh some 
years ago, an eminent Scotch preacher who prefaced his 
sermon with reading the eighth chapter of the Epistle to the 
Romans, which book had been the subject of careful study 
with Garfield during all his religious life. He was greatly 
impressed by the elocution of the preacher and declared that 
it had imparted a new and 


He referred often in after 3^ears to that memorable service, 
and dwelt with exaltation of feeling upon the radiant promise 
and the assured hope with wliich the great apostle of the 
Gentiles was " persuaded that neither death, nor life, nor 
angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor 
things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other creature, 
shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in 
Christ Jesus our Lord." 

The crowning characteristic of General Garfield's religious 
opinions, as indeed of all his opinions, was his liberality. In 

246 Words of James G-. Blaine. 

all tilings he had charity. Tolerance was of his nature. He 
respected in others the qualities which he possessed him- 
self — sincerity of conviction and frankness of expression. 
With him the inquiry was not so much what a man believes, 
but does he believe it ? The lines of his friendship and his 
confidence encircled men of every creed, and men of no 
creed, and to the end of his life, on his ever-lengthening list 
of friends, were to be found the names of a pious Catholic 
priest and of an honest-minded and generous-hearted free- 


the President was a contented and happy man — not in an 
ordinary degree, but joyfully, almost boyishly happy. On 
his way to the railroad-station, to which he drove slowly, in 
conscious enjoyment of the beautiful morning, with an un- 
Avonted sense of leisure and a keen anticipation of pleasure, 
his talk was all in the grateful and gratulatory vein. He 
felt that after four months of trial his administration was 
strong in its grasp of affairs, strong in popular favor, and 
destined to grow stronger ; that grave difficulties confronting 
him at his inauguration had been safely passed ; that trouble 
lay behind him and not before him ; that he was soon to 
meet the wife whom he loved, now recovering from an illness 
which had but lately disquieted and at times almost un- 
nerved him; that he was going to his Alma Mater to renew 
the most cherished associations of his young manhood, and to 
exchange greetings with those whose deepening interest had 
followed every step of his upward progress from the day he 

G-arfield Memorial. 247 

entered upon his college course until he had attained the 
loftiest elevation in the gift of his countrymen. 

Surely, if happiness can ever come from the honors or 
triumphs of this world, on that quiet July morning James 
A. Garfield may well have been a happy man. No forebodhig 
of evil haunted him; no slightest premonition of danger 
clouded his sky. His terrible fate was upon him in an 
instant. One moment he stood erect, strong, confident in the 
years stretching peacefully out before him. The next he 
lay wounded, bleeding, helpless, doomed to weary weeks of 
torture, to silence, and the grave. 

Great in life, he was 


For no cause, in the very frenzj- of wantonness and wicked- 
ness, by tlie red hand of murder, he was thrust from the full 
tide of this world's interest, from its hopes, its aspirations, 
its victories, into the visible presence of death — and he did 
not quail. Not alone for one short moment in which, 
stunned and dazed, he could give up life, hardly aware of its 
relinquishment, but through days of deadly languor, through 
weeks of agony, that was not less agony because silently 
borne, with clear sight and calm courage, he looked into his 
open grave. What blight and ruin met his anguished eyes, 
whose lips may tell — what brilliant, broken plans, what 
baffled, high ambitions, what sundering of strong, warm, 
manhood's friendships, what bitter rending of sweet house- 
hold ties ! Behind him a proud, expectant nation, a great 
host of sustaining friends, a cherished and happy mother. 

248 Wo7xIs of James G. Blame. 

wearing the full rich honors of her early toil and tears ; the 
wife of his youth, whose whole life lay in his ; the little 
boys not yet emerged from childhood's day of frolic ; the 
fair young daughter ; the sturdy sons just springing into 
closest companionship, claiming every day and every day 
rewarding a father's love and care ; and in his heart the 
eager, rejoicing power to meet all demand. Before him, deso- 
lation and great darkness ! And his soul was not shaken. 
His countrymen were thrilled with instant, profound, and 
universal sympathy. Masterful in his mortal weakness, he 
became the centre of a nation's love, enshrined in the 
prayers of a world. But all the love and all the sympathy 
could not share with him his suffering. He trod the wine- 
press alone. With unfaltering front he faced death. With 
unfailing tenderness he took leave of life. Above the 
demoniac hiss of the assassin's bullet he heard the voice of 
God. With simple resignation he bowed to the divine 


his early craving for the sea returned. The stately mansion 
of power had been to him the wearisome hospital of pain, 
and he begged to be taken from its prison walls, from its 
oppressive, stifling air, from its homelessness and its hopeless- 
ness. Gently, silently, the love of a great people bore the 
pale sufferer to the longed-for healing of the sea, to live or 
to die, as God should will, within sight of its heaving billows, 
within sound of its manifold voices. With wan, fevered 
face tenderly lifted to the cooling breeze, he looked out 
wistfully upon the ocean's changing wonders ; on its far 

G-arfield Meynorial. 249 

sails, whitening in tlie morning light ; on its restless waves, 
rolling shoreward to break and die beneath the noonday 
sun; on the red clouds of evening, arching low to the 
horizon ; on the serene and shining pathway of the stars. 
Let us think that his dying eyes read a mystic meaning 
which only the wrapt and parting soul may know. Let us 
believe that in the silence of the receding world he heard 
the great waves breaking on a farther shore, and felt already 
upon his wasted brow the breath of the eternal morning. 



OF 1884. 


The Republicans of the United States in National Conven- 
tion assembled renew their allegiance to the principles upon 
which they have triumphed in six successive presidential 
elections, and congratulate the American people on the 
attainment of so many results in legislation and admin- 
istration by which the Republican party has, after saving 
the Union, done so much to render its institutions just, 
equal, and beneficent, the safeguard of liberty, and the 
embodiment of the best thought and highest purpose 
of our citizens. 

The Republican party has gained its strength by quick 
and faithful response to the demands of the people for the 
freedom and equality of all men, for a United Nation, as- 
suring the rights of all citizens, for the elevation of labor, 
for an honest currency, for purity in legislation, and for 
integrity and accountability in all departments of the 
government, and it accepts anew the duty of leading in 
the work of progress and reform. We lament the death 
of President Garfield, whose sound statesmanship, long con- 

The Rejjiihlican Convention. 251 

spicuousness in Congress, gave promise of a strong and 
successful administration, a promise fully realized during 
the short period of his office as President of the United 
States. His distinguished, success in war and peace have 
endeared him to the hearts of the American people. 

In the administration of President Arthur we recognize 
a wise, conservative, and patriotic policy, under which the 
country has been blessed with remarkable prosperity, and 
we believe his eminent services are entitled to, and will 
receive, the hearty approval of every citizen. 

It is the first duty of a good government to protect the 
rights and promote the interests of all the people. The 
largest diversity of industry is most productive of general 
prosperity and of the comfort and independence of the people. 
We, therefore, demand, that the imposition of duties on 
foreign imports shall be made " not for revenue only," but 
that in raising the requisite revenues for the government, 
such duties shall be so levied as to aff'ord security to our 
diversified industries, and protection to the rights and wages 
of the laborer, to the end that active and intelligent labor, 
as well as capital, may have its just award, and the laboring- 
man his full share in the national prosperity. 

Against the so-called economic system of the Democratic 
party which would degrade our labor to the foreign stand- 
ard, we enter our earnest protest. The Democratic party 
has failed completely to relieve the people of the burden of 
unnecessary taxation by a wise reduction of the surplus. 

The Republican party pledges itself to correct tlie ine- 
qualities of the tariff, and to reduce the surjDlus, not by the 

252 Words of James Gr. Blaine. 

vicious and indiscriminate process of horizontal reduction, 
but by such methods as will relieve tlie taxpayer without 
injuring the labor or the great productive interests of the 

We recognize the importance of sheep husbandry in the 
United States, the serious depression which it is now expe- 
riencing, and the danger threatening its future prosperity, 
and we therefore respect the demands of the representatives 
of this important agricultural interest for a readjustment of 
duty upon foreign wool, in order -that such industry shall 
have full and adequate protection. 

We have ahvays recommended the best money known to 
the civilized world, and we urge that efforts should be made 
to unit all commercial nations in the establishment of the in- 
ternational standard which shall fix, for all, the relative value 
of gold and silver coinage. 

The regulation of commerce with foreign nations and 
between the States is one of the most important prerogatives 
of the general government, and the Republican party dis- 
tinctly announces its purpose to support such legislation as 
will fully and efficiently carry out the constitutional power 
of Congress over inter-state commerce. The principle of 
the public regulation of railway corporations is a wise and 
salutary one for the protection of all classes of people, and 
we favor legislation that shall prevent unjust discrimination 
and excessive charges for transportation, and that shall 
secure to the people and the railways alike the fair and equal 
protection of the laws. 

We favor the establishment of a national bureau of labor, 

The Repiihtican Convention. 253 

tlie enforcement of the eiglit-hour law, a wise and judicious 
system of general education by adequate appropriation from 
the national revenues wherever the same is needed. We 
believe that everywhere the protection to a citizen of Ameri- 
can birth must be secured to citizens by American adoption, 
and we favor the settlement of national differences by inter- 
national arbitration. 

The Republican party, having its birth in a hatred of slave 
labor, and a desire that all men may be truly free and equal, 
is unalterably opposed to placing our workingmen in compe- 
tition with any form of servile labor, whether at home or 
abroad. In this spirit we denounce the importation of con- 
tract labor, whether from Europe or Asia, as an offence 
against the spirit of American institutions, and we pledge 
ourselves to sustain the present law restricting Chinese im- 
migration and to provide such further legislation as is neces- 
sary to carry out its purposes. 

Reform of the civil service auspiciously begun under Re- 
publican administration should be completed by the further 
extension of the reform system already established by law, to 
all the grades of the service to which it is applicable. The 
spirit and purpose of the reform should be observed in all 
executive appointmen-ts, and all laws at variance with the 
objects of existing reformed legislation should be repealed, to 
the end that the dangers of free institutions which lurk in 
the power of official patronage may be wisely and effectively 

The public lands are a heritage of the people of the 
United States, and should be reserved, as far as possible, for 

254 Words of James Gr. Blaine, 

small holdings by actual settlers. We are opposed to the 
acquisition to large tracts of these lands by corporations or 
individuals, especially where such holdings are in the hands 
of non-resident aliens, and we will endeavor to obtain such 
legislation as will tend to correct this evil. We demand of 
Congress the speedy forfeiture of all land-grants which have 
lapsed by reason of non-compliance with acts of incorpora- 
tion, in all cases where there his been no attempt in good 
faith to perform the condition of such grants. 

The grateful thanks of the American people are due to 
the Union soldiers and sailors of the late war, and the 
Republican party stands pledged to suitable pensions for all 
who were disabled and for the widows and orphans of those 
who died in the war. The Republican party also pledges 
itself to the repeal of the limitation contained in the arrears 
act of 1879, so that all invalid soldiers shall share alike and 
their pensions begin Avith the date of disability or discharge, 
and not with the date of the application. 

The Republican party favors a policy wliich shall keep us 
from entangling alliances with foreign nations, and whicli 
gives us the right to expect that foreign nations shall refrain 
from meddling in American affairs — the policy wliich seeks 
peace and can trade with all powers, but especially those of 
the Western hemisphere. 

We demand the restoration of our navy to its oldtime 
strength and efficiency, that it may in any sea protect the 
rights of American citizens and the interests of American 
commerce ; and we call upon Congress to remove the bur- 
dens under which American shipping has been depressed, so 

The Republican Convention. 255 

that it may again ]:»e true that we have a commerce wliich 
leaves no sea unexplored, and a navy whicli takes no law 
from superior force. 

Resolved, That appointments by the President to offices in 
the Territories should be made from the bona fide citizens 
and residents of the Territories wherein they are to serve. 

Resolved, That it is the duty of Congress to enact such 
laws as shall promptly and effectually suppress the system 
of polygamy within our Territories and divorce the political 
from the ecclesiastical power of the so-called Mormon 
Church, and that the law so enacted should be rigidly 
enforced by the civil authorities if possible, and by military 
if need be. 

The people of the United States, in their organized 
capacity, constitute a nation, and not a mere confe(]eracy of 
States. Tlie national government is supreme within tlie 
sphere of its national duty, but the States have reserved 
rights which should be faithfully maintained ; each should 
be guarded with jealous care, so that the harmony of our 
system of government may be preserved, and the Union kept 
inviolate. The perpetuity of our institutions rests upon tlie 
maintenance of a free ballot, an honest count, and correct 
returns. We denounce the fraud and violence practised by 
the Democracy in Southern States, by which the will of tlie 
voter is defeated, as dangerous to the preservation of free 
institutions ; and we solemnly arraign the Democratic party 
as being the guilty recipient of fruits of such fraud and 
violence. We extend to the Republicans of the South, 
regardless of their former party affiliations, our cordial 

25G Words of James Cr. Blaine. 

sympathy, and pledge to them our most earnest efforts to 
proJDote the passage of such legishition as will secure to every 
citizen, of whatever race and color, the full and complete 
recognition, possession, and exercise of all civil and political 


When the National Convention of the Republican party 
was called to order on June 6, 1884, in the great hall in the 
city of Chicago, and it was announced that balloting for a 
candidate was in order, there was the usual excitement, and 
the silent interest was most intense. As the States were 
called the friends of each candidate looked with eager eyes. 
When California gave sixteen votes for Mr. Blaine a storm 
of applause broke from the great audience, which was the 
signal for that kind of demonstration which cannot be sup- 
pressed in a great gathering where the interests of so mau}^ 
people are to be considered. The call proceeded, and when 
the result was announced showing 334 1-2 for Mr. Blaine, 
the hall was once more shaken with applause. 

The Convention was now thoroughly aroused. Mr. Curtis 
and his friends were determined to make any combination to 
defeat the popular choice, while a most conspicuous figure 
was William Walter Phelps, of New Jersey. Mr. Phelps is 
known not only as an able man, but as a scholarly and cul- 
tured man as well, and his influence was widely felt through- 
out the session. As the States were called, all eyes were upon 
Judge Foraker, of Ohio. It had been expected by some that 
a combination might be formed with one of the Shermans for 

The Repuhlican Convention. 257 

a candidate, and other combinations were hoped for by the 
men who went to the convention to defeat Mr. Bhiine. But 
when the result of the second ballot was announced, it was 
seen that Mr. Blaine had made a substantial gain, his vote 
running to 349. 

The third ballot was called and the excitement was 
intense. All eyes turned toward Ohio again, but Foraker 
gave no visible sign of his intentions. The Kansas delega- 
tion lifted a banner bearing the name of Blaine ; it had 
brooms on each corner and a large broom in the centre. Im- 
mense enthusiasm was everywhere manifest for Mr. Blaine, 
and in the midst of the excitement it Avas announced that the 
Logan men would go for Blaine. William Walter Phelps tele- 
graphed to Augusta, and tlie Blaine men rested in confidence. 
The fourth ballot would decide the contest. A combination 
would be effected, or Mr. Blaine would carr.y the day. This 
was the feeling when it was announced that Mr. Blaine had 
375 votes on the third ballot. 

The voting began amid great excitement. Obstructions 
were proposed, but they were swept out of the way. In the 
midst of this Senator Cullom attempted to read a dispatch 
from General Logan transferring his strength to Mr. Blaine. 
He was interrupted, but Illinois replied by casting tliirty-four 
votes for James G. Blaine. The story was told. Cheer 
upon cheer ran through the hall. The remainder of the 
voting only added weight to the victory for the Maine 
statesman. Seventy thousand people in the streets had 
caught the sound and their voices were heard inside the great 
building. There was a pause. The secretary arose and 

258 Words of James Gr. Blaine. 

said : " The whole number of delegates, 820 ; the whole 
number of votes, 816 ; necessary for a choice, 411, of which 
Robert T. Lincoln received 2 ; John A. Logan, 7 ; Joseph R. 
Hawley, 15 ; George F. Edmunds, 41 ; Chester A. Arthur, 207 ; 
and James G. Blaine, 500 '' — He was heard no farther. 
Men and women rose in their places and a burst of applause 
went up, answered from without by another equally loud, to 
which was added the roar of cannon. James G. Blaine had 
received 544 votes and was nominee of the Republican 
National Convention. 


In four minutes after the despatch was received that James 
G. Blaine was nominated, a correspondent of The Boston 
Globe, in company with Mr. Blaine's intimate friend, Orville 
D. Baker, and C. C. Hunt, Esq., were quietly informing Mr. 
Blaine and his family of his nomination. The now nominee 
of the Republican party was quietly swinging in his hammock 
under a spreading apple-tree, and sitting around him were 
Mrs. Blaine and two of her daughters, Miss Stanwood (Mrs. 
lUaine's sister). Miss Dodge, Mr. and Mrs. Homan, Miss 
Manly, and Miss Johnson. This was the first authentic news 
received by the nominee of his selection. He refused a 
regular interview, saying he did not think it wise to answer 
questions or pat forward any views at present. His demeanor 
of quiet composure was in nowise disturbed from what it has 
been all through the past week. 

"I did not expect a definite result so soon," said Mr. 
Blaine ; " but the anxiety in regard to the nomination ques- 
tion, is over, at least," said he to Mr. Baker. 

The Hepublican Convention. 259 

To Mr. Sprague, editor of his home paper, who at this 
moment put in an appearance, he said : " Well, no 
man in the country can say I schemed, or dictated, or 
traded, or had anything to do with this nomination or con- 
vention. I have asked no delegate to vote for me, have 
written to no man, not even to Mr. Manly, or Mr. John L. 
Stevens, or Mr. Bigelow, or my friend Homan here ; to no 
one have I said one word, in any way, manner, or shape that 
can in any way be construed to be a bid or a move toward 
this nomination." 

At this time the booming of the old cannon on the wharf 
at Hallo well, said to be one that was used on the Boxer 
during her fight with the Enterprise, gave the first boom for 
Blaine that was 


"Isn't this glorious?" cried Miss Dodge to some ladies 
who just drove up. 

The first congratulatory despatch received by Mr. Blaine 
was from General Cullis, of New York, and was sent before 
the final vote was taken. It Avas as follows : — 

To James G. Blaine^ — Allow me to congratulate you on your nomi- 
nation. Securities in Wall Street advance in proportion as your vote 

Mr. Blaine and his entire family seemed just as quiet and 
unconcerned as ever, but as the crowd of friends increased 
and the streets around began to be crowded with village-folk 
shouting their huzzas and pushing to get the best view of 

260 Words of James G. Blaine. 

the happy party on the lawn, the children began to show 
signs of excitement ; then Miss Dodge caught sound of the 
churchbells as they began to' ring ; this was followed by the 
shrieks of steam-whistles from factories and steamers on the 
river. The noise, as it increased, began to relax the severe 
strain which the entire family have held their over feelings, 
and one by one they grew more animated, a brighter light 
came to the eye, and the voices were raised a little higher. 
The air was filled with shouts of jo}^ as the throngs grew 
thicker on the streets. The bells and guns from Hallowell 
and Gardiner, two and six miles down the river, joined in 
the general din. Newspaper correspondents began to make 
their way along to the party on the lawn, and Mr. Blaine 
himself began to show the effects of the tremendous excite- 
ment as the crowd grew larger and the noise grew in volume. 
It seemed as though every workshop and store had emptied 
itself into the streets, and everybody was excited and jubi- 
lant. The Democrats caught the excitement and were 
inclined to feel that the selection of an Augusta citizen was 
at least an honor to good citizens, and they were willing to 
join in the glad celebration going on. 


upon Blaine since five o'clock. Among the first to come 
were those of President Arthur and Senator Logan. Presi- 
dent Arthur sent the following : — 

Executive Mansion, Washington, D.C. 
Hon. James G. Blaine, — As the candidate of the Republican party 
you will have my earnest and cordial support. 

(Sio:ned) Chester A. Arthur. 

The Republican Conventi<fn, 261 

General Logan sent the following : — 

Washington, D.C. 
J. Gr. Blaine^ — I most heartil}- congratulate 3^011 011 your nomination. 
You will be elected by your friends. 

John A. Logan. 

Before half-past six o'clock congratulations had been 
received from over one hundred people, prominent among 
them appearing Murat Halstead, of Cincinnati ; Howard 
Carroll, of the New York Times; ex-Governor Alonzo B. 
Cornell, of New York ; ex-Governor Foster, of Ohio ; and 
Hon. H. J. Ramsdell. At half-past ten nearly one thousand 
messages had been received, and still they came. Mr. 
Blaine's time was so thoroughly occupied that he found 
time to reply to but few. President Arthur and John A. 
Logan were among the first to whom replies were sent. 


a tremendous bonfire had been started in the evening, and 
around this, and into the square between Blaine's house and 
the capitol, a great procession filed, cheering and shouting 
for Blaine. Mr. Blaine appeared, and made the following 
speech : — 

Felloiv-eitizens^ my friends and my neighbors^ — I thank 
you very sincerely for the honor of this call. There is no 
spot in the world where I am so pleased to receive good 
news as among the people with whom I have been closely 
connected for over thirty years. Again and again I thank 
you for this greeting. Good-night. 

262 Words of Jmyies Cr. Blame. 

At eleven o'clock a second procession was formed, and 
marched to Mr. Blame's house. Just as this procession got 
fairly under way, a sudden and furious thunder-storm camj 
up. Lightning flashes alternated with the flight of rockets, 
and the rumble of thunder mingled with the roar of cannon. 
Engine-whistles shrieked, bells were ringing furiously, the 
crowd w^as singing and shouting, bands playing, and the rain 
pouring. Amid all the din of earth and heaven the crowd 
poured into Mr. Blaine's home, entering the front door, 
passing into the spacious north parlor, where they were 
presented to Mr. Blaine by Orville D. Baker and Joseph 
Homan. All sorts and conditions of mankind were present; 
mud and water was no obstacle; they had come to shake 
hands with Blaine, and shake hands they must. For each 
and all Mr. Blaine had a word and a smile. The crowd 
passed quickly through the north parlor into a hallway and 
out from the house by a back entrance, then to the grounds 
and out to Capitol Square, where they reformed in line of 
march and down town they came again. 

The whole city was one blaze of light; huge bonfires 
glowed and sizzled in the pouring rain from every square 
and at nearly every street corner. From the Hotel North 
was flung probably the first flag bearing the name of J. G. 
Blaine for President that kissed the breeze in this campaign, 
it being: out in less than ten minutes after the news of the 
nomination was received here. 

It was a curious sight to see seven or eight thousand per- 
sons gathered in the square in front of Blaine's house in 
a furious thunder-storm, waiting to see and hear him, and 

The llepuhlican Convention. 


shout themselves hoarse in liis honor. During Blaine's 
second speech he alluded to the shower. " Never you mind, 
Mr. Blaine," shouted a voice, " we have been waiting for 
this shower for eight years." Mr. Blaine alluded very pleas- 
antly to Mr. Logan, whose name was received with prolonged 


George Turner. 
'^George Vi. Braxdall. 
C. Chris. Sheats. 
Jesse C. Duke. 
Jas. E. Slaughter. 
Frank II. Threet. 
Paul Strobaeh. 


G. AV. Washington. 
Isaac Heyinan. 
William Youngblood. 
William J. Stevens. 
Hugh A. Carson. 
Lewis E. Parsons, Jr. 
W. J. Anthony. 

Algernon A. Mabson. 
L. J. Washington. 
R. A. Mosely, Jr. 
Arthur Bingham. 
A. W. McCullough. 
Peter J. Crenshaw. 

Powell Clayton. 
Logan IT. Roots. 
M. W. Gibbs. 
Henry M. Cooper. 
Jacob Trieber. 


S. H. Holland. 
John II. Johnson. 
Ferdinand Havis. 
A. A. Tufts. 
George H. Thompson. 

M. W. Benjamin. 

Jacob Yoes. 
Lafayette Gregg. 
Kidder Kidd. 

T. R. Bard. 
W. W. Morrow. 
George A. Knight. 
Horace Davis. 
C. C. Bush. 
B. O. Carr. 


^N. H. Parks. 
G. W. Schell. 
William Johnston. 
Eli S. Dennison. 
David McClure. 
Charles F. Crocker. 

A. B. Spreckel. 
M. C. Blake. 
D. C. Reed. 


Words of James G. Bl 


S. H. Elbert. 
Wm. A. Hamill. 


C.C. Davis. 
Allen Gullett. 

A. L. Emigh. 
Benjamin F. Crowell. 

Augustus Brandegee. 
Frederick Miles. 
Samuel E. Merwin, Jr 
John L. Houston. 


Luzerne J. Munson. 
John G. Edmonds. 
V. B. Chamberlin. 
Kalph P. Gilbert. 

Eugene S. Boss. 
Ira G. Briggs. 
Ebenezer G. Hill. 
Orsamus E,. Filer, 

W. Hastings. 
John Pilling. 


George V. Massey. 
Daniel J. Layton. 

Wm. J. Stewart. 
John H. Hoffecker 

Dennis Egan. 
Joseph E. Lee. 
J. D. Cole. 


W. G. Stuart. 
James M. Coombs. 
A. C. Lightburn. 

J. G. Long. 
H. W. Chandler 

A. E. Buck. 
W. A. Pledger. 
L. M. Pleasants. 
O. D. Forsyth. 
A. N. Wilson. 
James Blue. 
C. W. Arnold. 
Caesar Few. 


Elbert Head. 
E. Sewai'd Small. 
W. H. Johnson. 
J. C. Beall. 
John E. Bryant. 
W. D. Moore. 
W. W. Brown. 
P. O. Holt. 

G. P. Burnett. 
J. Q. Gassett. 
Mark A. Wood. 
Madison Davis. 
W.T. B.Wilson. 
James B. Gaston. 
W. F. Holden. 
R. R. Wright. 

S. M. Cullom. 
John M. Hamilton. 
Clark E. Carr. 
Burton C. Cook. 
J. L. Woodward. 


Abner Taylor. 
Wm. S. Powell. 
Wm. E. Kent. 
Geo. R. Davis. 
J. R. Wheeler. 

Samuel B. Raymond. 
L. C. Collins, Jr. 
Chas. E. Fuller. 
L. M. Kelly. 
Norman Lewis. 

The Repuhllcan Convention. 


O. C. Town. 
S. G. Baldwin. 
H. T. Noble, 
R. W. Willett. 
J. A. Bell. 
S. T. Rogers. 
Thos. Vennuni. 
W. AV. Wright. 
R. H. AVhiting. 
C. V. Chandler. 

ILLINOIS. — Continned. 

C. A. Ballard. 
A. C. Matthews. 
W. W. Perry. 
Wni. Jayne. 

D. C. Smith. 
J. W. Fifer. 
Geo. K. Ingham. 
L. S. AVilson. 
Chas. G. Eckhart. 
Chas. Churchill. 

S. I. H. Black. 
John I. Rinaker, 
J. M. Truitt. 
R. A. Halbert. 
H. F. Renter. 
T. S. Ridgeway. 
C. T. Strattan. 
T. M. Shnpson. 
W. McAdams. 

R. W. Thompson, 
Benj. H. Harrison. 
John n. Baker. 
Morris McDonald. 
James C. Veaeh. 
F. B. Posey. 
George G. Reily. 
W. R. Gardener. 
D. M. Alspangh. 
A. P. Charles. 


John O. Cravens. 
Eugene G. Hay. 
VV. A. Montgomery. 
Joseph I. Irwin. 
Chas. H. Burchenall. 
Joshua H. Millette. 
Henry C. Adams. 
L. T. Michener. 
Wm. C. Smith. 
Wm. R. McKeen. 

George B. Williams. 
Americas C. Daily. 
S. P. Thompson. 
Geo. W. Holman. 
James B. Kenner. 
Jonas Votow. 
O^^car A. Simons. 
Orville Carver. 
Joseph D. Oliver. 
George Moon. 

J. S. Clarkson. 
W. G. Donnan. 
J. Y. Stone. 
N. M. Hubbard. 
D. A. Morrison. 
Wm. Wilson, Jr. 
John Hilsinger. 
W. F. Shaw. 
H. C. Hemenway. 


W. H. Norris. 
A. G. Stewart. 
O. H. Lyon. 
J. W. Willett. 
Merritt Green, Jr 
H. S. Winslow. 
Calvin Manning. 
C. H. Gatch. 
E. W. Weeks. 

W. H. Christie. 
W. M. Wilson. 
E. A. Consigney. 
T. M. C. Logan. 
R. S. Benson. 
O. C. T. Mason. 
J. B. Funk. 
J. D. Aiusworth. 


Words of James Gr. Blaine, 

P. B. Plumb. 
John G. Woods. 
Jnmos 8. Merritt. 
A. W. Mann. 
Cyrus Leland, Jr, 
Henry E. Insle3^ 

Walter Evans. 
W. W. Culbertson. 
W. O. Bradley. 
John W. Lewis. 
Edward E. Farley. 
P. C. Bragg. 
J. Z. Moore. 
Judge Landis. 
W. Z. Hazelip. 

Andrew J. Dumont. 
P. S. B. Pinchback. 
A. S. Badger. 
Robert F. Guichard. 
W, B. Merchant. 

George C. Wing. 
Josiah H.Druuunoud. 
JosejDh R. Bodwell. 
J. S. Wheelwright. 

Hart B. Holton. 
James Wallace. 


Robeit Aikman. 
Joseph P. Root. 
James R. ITallowell. 
William P. Hackney. 
William Martindale. 
George R. Peck. 


Allen AUensworth. 
G. P. Jolly. 
Edward J. Hilpp. 
John Mason Brown. 
Silas F. Miller. 
Joseph A. Scarlett. 
D. M. Comingore. 
William C. Goodloe. 
R. P. Stoll. 


P. T. Herwig. 
Henry Demars. 
George Drury. 
L. A. Martinet. 
Albert H. I.,eonard. 
William Harper. 


Albion Little. 
Charles E. Hussey. 
Amos F. Crockett. 
Reuel B. Fuller. 


John T. Ensor. 
Henry M. Clabaugh. 

E. A. Berry. 
E. C. Gulp. 
J. S. McDowell. 
C. C. Woods. 
J. W. Ady. 
R. L. Walker. 

Robert Boyd. 
George Denny, Jr. 
G. M. Thomas. 
John Bradford. 
Andrew J. Auxier, 
J. C. Eversole. 
R. A. Buckner. 
H. G. Trimble. 

Frank L. Morey. 
E. W. Hall. 
Lewis J. Sauer. 
Clifford Morgan. 

J. M. Haynes. 
Andrew P. Wis well. 
Austin Harris. 
E. A. Thompson. 

Lewis G. Martin. 
William C. Clay. 

The Republican Convention. 


Lycurgus IST. Phillips. 
Thomas S. Hodson. 
Charles T. AVestcott. 
James C. Mullikin. 

MARYLAND.— Continued. 

D. P. West. 
William Coath. 
J.W. Jordan. 
Henry W. Eogers. 

James A. Gary. 
William G. Green. 
Geo. L. AYellington. 
J. McPherson Scott. 

George F. Hoar. 
W. W. Crapo. 
John D. Long. 
Henry Cabot Lodge. 
Jonathan Bourne. 
Frank S. Stevens. 
Frank M. Ames. 
Eben L. Ripley. 
Henry P. Kidder. 
Edward L. Pierce. 


Jesse M. Gove. 
Charles T. Gallagher. 
John F. Andrew. 
Ephraim Stearns. 
Carroll D. Wright. 
Amos F. Breed. 
E. A. Haskell. 
George W. Cate. 
Fred. T. Greenhalge. 
Andrew C. Stone. 

Robert R. Bishop. 
Joseph G. Ray. 
William W. Rice. 
T. C. Bates. 
Chester C. Conant. 
Rodney Wallace. 
Henry S. Hyde. 
Levi L. Brown. 

Roswell G. Horr. 
W. F. Swift. 
JiTlius C. Burrows. 
Samuel C. Watson. 
R. A. Alger. 
Willett S. Morey. 
W. A. Underwood. 
Joseph T. Jacobs. 
Edwin C. Nichols. 


W. H. Powers. 
Josiah Andrews. 
Seth T. Reed. 
George W. Webber. 
Henry F. Thomas. 
W. D. Chatterton. 
Joseph T. Sawyer. 
John P. Sanborn. 
R. B. Noble. 

W. S. Turck. 
William E. Watson. 
Abel Anderson. 
Martin P. Gale. 
H. H. Applin. 
G. W. Bell. 
Seth C. Moffett. 
S. M. Stephenson. 

D. M. Sabin. 

Cushman K. Davis. 

C. Graves. 

O. B. Gould. 

T. H. Arinstrono:. 


C. H. Conkey. 
A. F. Crosby. 
L. Z. Rogers. 
E. V. Canfield. 
Liberty Hall, 

R. B. Langdon. 

Stanford Newell. 
A. Bar to. 
H. G. Page. 


Words of James Cr. Blaine. 

B. K. Bruce. 

John S. Burton. 

James Hill. 

D. T. J. Matthew. 

J. M. Bj^num. 

W. H. Allen. 

Eichard F. Beck. 

Wesley Cray ton. 

H. C. Powers. 

H. H. Harrington. 

W. H. Kennon. 

J. W. Longstreet. 


R. T. Van Home. 

0. C. Hill. 

J. B. Henderson. 

John B. Jones. 

B. M. Prentiss. 

William Warner. 

H. E. Havens. 

W. S. Shirk. 

J. T. Barber. 

Oden Guitar. 

R. W. Cramer. 

Theo. Bremer. 

J. H. Turner. 

M. G. Reynolds. 

A. W. Mullen. 

Henry C. Meyer. 

J. H. Thomas. 

John C. Beusick. 

Ira B. Hyde. 

Chaum ey I. Filley, 

A. C. Dawes. 

J. H. McLean. 


J. M. Thurston. 

Eugene L. Reed. 

X. S. Harwood. 

Church Howe. 

John Jensen. 

William T. Scott. 

George A . Brooks. 

G. ^Y. Burton. 

T. C. Cranberry. 
William X. Hancock. 
John R. Lynch. 
C. A. Simpson. 
Thomas Richardson. 
J. A. Gal breath. 

Fred. W. Mott. 
Kossuth W. Weber. 
Edward Menhahn. 
E. D. Sankey. 
Charles H. Burton. 
W. D. Tyler. 
J. B. A. Upton. 
Norman Gibbs. 
A. B. Carroll. 
Boyd Duncan. 

C. P. Matthewson. 
J. H. McCall. 

Edward H. Rollins. 
George H. Stowell. 
Charles H. Sawyer. 


Joseph B. Clark. 
Charles D. McDuffle. 
Warren Brown. 

Frank D. Currier. 
Henry B. Atherton. 

C. C. Stevenson. 
M. D. Foley. 


J. H. Rand. 
John E. Dixon. 

S. L. Lee. 
A. J. Blair. 

The Rep%ihlica7i Conve^ition. 


William J. Sewell. 
John J. Gardiner. 
William W. Phelps. 
J. Frank Fort. 
Isaac T. Nichols. 
Thomas B. Harned. 

ITieodore Roosevelt. 
Andrew D. White. 
John T. Gilbert. 
Edwin Packard. 
Geo. W. Curtis. 
Jno. M. Crane. 
E. H. Hobbs. 
Silas B. Dutcher. 
Andrew D. Baird. 
G. L. Pease. 
W. H. Beard. 
M. N. Day. 
C. D. Pthinehart. 
G. C. Bennett. 
John J. O'Brien. 
John H. Brady. 
John D. Lawson. 
Charles N. Taintor. 
Ptobert G. McCord. 
John Collins. 
M. Patterson. 
George Hilliard. 
Bernard Biglin. 
Michael Cregin. 

J. J. Mott. 

Vy. S. Dockery. 


Mahlon Hutchinson. 
William H. Skirm. 
James E. English. 
John W. Herbert. 
John I. Blair. 


Anson G. McCook. 
Jno. R. Ly decker. 
Edmund Stephenson. 
William Dowd. 
Frank Raymond. 
John A. Eagieson. 
W. H. Robertson. 
James W. Husted. 
Benjamin B. Odell. 
David J. Blauvelt. 
B. Piatt Carpenter. 
Hamilton Fish. Jr. 
Thomas Cornell. 
Duncan Ballantine. 
Martin I. Townsend. 
H. G. Burleigh. 
George Campbell. 
Hiram Griggs. 
George West. 
John Kellogg. 
Jno. Hammond. 
George Chahoon. 
Leslie W. Russell. 
George A. Bagley, Jr. 

James H. Harris. 
James E. OTIara. 

AYatts Cooke. 
William H. Howell. 
Herman Lehlbach. 
William Riker, Jr. 
James Gopsill. 
John Ramsey. 

W. E. Scripture. 
A. M. Laupher. 
Hobart Krum. 
Titus Sheard. 
Carroll E. Smith. 
Henry L. Duguid. 
Thomas C. Piatt. 
Milton De Lano. 
D. M. Osborne. 
T. G. Youmans. 
J. W. D wight. 
W. L. Smith. 
George R. Cornwell. 
Stephen T. Hoyt. 
Leonard Burrett. 
H. H. Warner. 
James W. Wadsworth. 
Edmund L. Pitts. 
James D. Warren. 
Josiah Jewett. 
George Urban, Jr. 
Lee R. Sanborn. 
Norman M. Allen. 
Frank S. Smith. 

J. B. Hill. 
E. W. White. 


Words of James G-. Blaine. 

NORTH CXV.Ol.J^X. — Continued. 

John C. Dancy. 
Isaac J. Young. 
L. M. Humphreys. 
John S. Leary. 
Charles D. L'pchurch. 
John Williamson. 

Thomas B. Keogh. 

Patrick WinsloAv. 

W. P. BjTium. 

E. J. Pennybaeker. 

J. J. Mott/ 

A. S. Richardson. 

W. S. Pearson. 
L. L. Green. 
J. B. Eaves. 
T. J. Chandler. 

J. B. Foraker. 
AVm. McKinley, Jr. 
Mark A. Hanna. 
A^'illiam H. West. 
Benjamin Eg.^leston. 
William B. Smith. 
Amos Smith, .Jr. 
Charles Fleischman. 
H. L. Morey. 
M. J. W. Holter. 
S. Craighead. 
A. E. Byrkett. 
J. S. Eobinson. 
Joseph Morris. 
Albert M. Pratt. 
J. X. High. 


R. W. McMahan. 
W. C. Lemert. 
Oscar T. Martin. 
G. M, Eichelberger. 
Thomas E. Duncan. 
John F. Locke. 
C. L. Luce. 
John B. Eice. 
Alphonso Hart. 
Charles W. Boyd. 
O. B. Gould. 
H. S. Bundy. 
CD. Firestone. 
C. E. Groce. 
WilUam T. Shriver. 
Austin W. Vorhes. 

H. C. Van Voorhis. 
E. L. Lybarger. 
E. G. Johnson. 
W. L. Sewell. 
Charles H. Baltzell. 
M. R. Patterson. 
C. H. Andrews. 
William Monaghan. 
E. L. Lami^son. 
J. O. Converse. 
A. L. Conger. 
T. D. Loomis. 
Edwin Cowles. 
A. C. Hord. 

Joseph X. Dolph. 
O. X. Dennv. 

Hamilton Disston. 
James McManes. 
Joseph W. Lee. 
Lewis Emery. 
P. L. Kimberly. 
W. H. Jessup. 


J. M. Swift. 

AV. T. McConnell. 


H. H. Bingham. 
William J. Pollock. 
D. H. Lane. 
W. R. Leeds. 
Harry Plunter. 
Samuel B. Gilpin. 

A. G. Hovey. 
J. T. Apperson. 

W. EUwood Rowan. 
Alexander Crowe, Jr. 
John T. Thompson. 
John Ruhl. 
B. F. Fisher. 

Th^ B.(^2}uhJican Convention, 


I. P. H. Jenkius. 
Eobert M. Yardley. 
Samuel E. Deppen. 
F= S. Livingood. 
Lewis S. Hartman. 
Edwin L. PLeinhold. 
^\. S. Kilpatrick. 
Samuel Thomas. 
James C. Brown. 
James Cruikshank. 
Henry H. Boies. 
Hubbard B. Payne. 
J. Y. SoUenberger. 
Jas. A. M. Passmore. 

Gorham P. Pomeroy 
Frank Bates. 
Ellerv H. Wilson. 

D. M. Bray ton. 
W. X. Taft. 
Eobert Small. 
Samuel Lee. 
J. M. Freeman. 
Eli H. Webster. 

L. C. Houck. 
J. C. Xapier. 
T. F. Cassels. 
W. P. Bro^^'nlo^v 
A. H. Pettibone. 
John Brown. 
yr. C. Chandler. 
W. C. Chumlea. 

PEXS'SYXVAXIA. — Contiiiued. 

Horace Brock. 
Jacob Wagner. 
Galusha A. Grow. 
F. F. Lyon. 
E. G. Sehiefielin. 

C. W. Hill. 

D. G. Morrill. 
Edward D. Scull. 
John Stewart. 

D. E. Duffield. 
William H. Lanius. 
J. A. C. Kitzmiller. 
J. C. Thornton. 

E. A. Irvin. 


D. G. Littlefield. 
William A. Steadman. 
John C. Barrington. 


Harris Simpkins. 
S. E. Smith. 

E. E. Blodgett. 

E. W. Boone. 
Wilson Cook. 
C. W. Wilder. 


H. F. Griscom. 

F. V. Bro%\Ti. 
B. W. Buford. 
John Pruitt. 
W. Y. Elliott. 
William Ekin. 
H. W. L. Cher.tam. 
B. J. Hadley. 

J. K. Ewing. 
James E. Sayers. 
Joseph D. Weeks. 
Jacob F. Slagle. 
Thomas M. Bayne. 
E. M. Byers. 
Ernest F. Acheson. 
J. W. Wallace. 
J. B. Henderson. 
H. C. Howard. 
W. H. H. Eiddle. 
Thomas D. Cochrane. 
Joseph Johnson. 
E. W. Echols. 

Thomas C. Peckman. 
Albert L. Chester. 

C. C. McCoy. 
E. H. Dibble. 

D. T. Corbin. 
K. H. Deas. 
T. J. Johnson. 
George H. Thompson. 

A. M. Hughes, Jr. 
Eichard Harris. 
S. W. Hawkins. 
J. C. Watson. 
M. E. Bell. 
S. A. McElevee. 
Carter Harris. 
James H. Smith. 

Word^ of James (J, Blaine. 

C. C. Binkley. 
E. Allen. 
E<:>ben: Zapp. 
X. W. CnneT. 
E. Parrish. ' 
J. Evans. 
A. Burket- 
H. L. Davis. 
Webster Flanao^an. 


Alexander Berge. 
A. J. Mallov. ^ 
Henry Carter. 
O. T. Lyons^. 
S. E. Cleaves. 
John S. Wituier. 
J. C Akers. 
L. W. Eenfrow. 
M. E. Fersruson. 

Henry Green. 
A. .J. Eosenthal. 
Xathan Patton. 
Henry Blunt. 
J. C. Degress. 
L. Hansiele. 
Bobert Campbell. 
J. M. C. Connell. 

Eedlield Pnxtor. 
Frederick Billings. 


Boughton D. Harris. 
Alonz » B. Valentine. 
Henrv Ballard. 

B. F. Fiiield. 
Tniuian C Fletcher. 

William Mabone. 
James D. Brady. 
Frank <. Blair. 
S. M. Yost. 
Amos A. DtKlson. 
William H. Pleasanti 
JJuS Green. 
L. E. Stewart. 


Harry Libby. 
Jordan Thompson. 
William C. Elam. 
J. Anderson Taylor. 
William E. Gaines. 
A. W. Harris. 
W. E. Sims. 
Winlield Scott. 

James A. Frazier. 
J. M. McLaughlin. 
L. S. Walker. 
J. J^. Dunn. 
E. L. Mitchell. 
Thomas G. Popham. 
H. C. Wood. 
D. F. Houston. 

• ' hn F. Dezendorf. 
B. B. Bans. 
William C. Wiekham 
H. C. Parsons. 
William H. Lester. 
-. P. Graham. 
X, Schroeder. 


J. Callahan. 
John Carey. 
Otis H. EusseU. 
Lazarus Bibb. 
B. F. Williams. 
E. D. .Scott. 
J. B. Work. 

Henry Clay. 

A. M. Lauson. 

J. W. Cochran. 

E. O. Hines. 

W. W. Willoughby. 

C. C. ITiompkins. 

E. M. Eucker. 

TIte Republican Convention, 


B. B. Dovener. 
W. 31. O. Dawson. 
E. L. Butrick. 
Warren sillier. 


CD. Thompson. 
T. Perry .Jacobs. 
A. C. Scneer. 
Lamar C. Powell. 

Xeil Robinson. 
J. W. Herner. 
B. .J. Eedmond. 
31. C. C. Church. 

E. H. Brodhead. 
E. W. Keye>. 
Jonathan Bowman. 
Thomas B. Scott. 
H. A. Cooper. 
J. W. Sarles. 
W. T. Eambush. 
S. S. Barnev. 


Calvert Spensely. 
A. C. Dodge. 
F. C. Winckler. 
Edward Sanderson. 
J. H. Mead. 
C. E. Estabrook. 
A. M. KimbaU. 
C. B. Clark. 

C. M. Butt. 
O. F. Temple. 
George B. Shaw. 
Horace A. Taylor. 
Alexander Stewart. 
O. A. Ellis. 


Clark Churchill. 
J. H. Stebbins. 



D. p. B. Pride. 
W. X. Shilling. 


Eii H. Murray. 
Nathan Kimball. 


W. E. Nelson. 
J. L. JoUv. 


W. F. Sanders. 
J. Mantle. 


G. D. Hid. 
John L. Wilson. 


F. B. Conger. 
Perrr H. Carson. 


W. H. Llewellyn. 
Eusrenio Romero. 


James France. 
John W. Weldrom. 



Augusta, Maine, July 15, 1884. 

The IIo7iorahle John B. Henderson and others of the Com- 
mittee^ etc. etc. 

Gentlemen^ — In accepting the nomination for the presi- 
dency tendered me by the Republican National Convention, 
I beg to express a deep sense of the honor which is conferred 
and of the duty which is imposed. I venture to accompany 
the acceptance with some observations upon the questions 
involved in the contest — questions whose settlement may 
affect the future of the nation favorably or unfavorably for 
a long series of years. 

In enumerating the issues upon which the Republican 
party appeals for popular support, the convention has been 
singularly explicit and felicitous. It has properly given the 
leading position to the industrial interests of the country as 
affected by the tariff on imports. On that question the two 
political parties are radically in conflict. Almost the first 
act of the Republicans, when they came into power in 1861, 
was the establishment of the principle of protection to 
American labor and to American capital. This principle the 
Republican party has ever since steadily maintained, while 

Letter of Acceptance, 275 

on the other hand the Democratic party in Congress has for 
fifty years persistently warred upon it. Twice within that 
period our opponents have destroyed tariffs arranged for 
protection, and since the close of the Civil War, whenever 
they have controlled the House of Representatives, hostile 
legislation has been attempted — never more conspicuously 
than in their principal measure at the late session of 


Revenue laws are in their very nature subject to frequent 
revision in order that they may be adapted to changes and 
modifications of trade. The Republican party is not con- 
tending for the permanency of any particular statute. The 
issue between the two parties does not have reference to 
a specific law. It is far broader and far deeper. It involves 
a principle of wide application and beneficent influence 
against a theory which we believe to be unsound in concep- 
tion and inevitably hurtful in practice. In the many tariff 
revisions which have been necessary for the past twenty- 
three years, or which may hereafter become necessary, the 
Republican party has maintained, and will maintain, the 
policy of protection to American industry, while our oppo- 
nents insist upon a revision wliich practically destroys that 
policy. The issue is thus distinct, well-defined, and unavoid- 
able. The pending election may determine the fate of 
protection for a generation. The overthrow of the policy 
means a large and permanent reduction in the wages of the 
American laborer, besides involving the loss of vast amounts 
of American capital invested in manufacturing enterprises. 

276 Words of James Cr. Blaine. 

The value of the present revenue system to the people of 
the United States is not a matter of theory, and I shall sub- 
mit no argument to sustain it. I only invite attention to 
certain facts of official record which seem to constitute 
a demonstration. 

In the census of 1850 an effort was made, for the first time 
in our history, to obtain a valuation of all the property in 
the United States. The attempt was in large degree unsuc- 
cessful. Partly from lack of time, partly from prejudice 
among many who thought the inquiries foreshadowed a new 
scheme of taxation, the returns were incomplete and unsat- 
isfactory. Little more was done than to consolidate the 
local valuation used in the States for purposes of assessment, 
and that, as every one knows, differs widely from a complete 
exhibit of all the property. 

In the census of 1860, however, the work was done with 
great thoroughness — the distinction between " assessed " 
value and " true " value being carefully observed. The 
o-rand result was that the '' true value " of all the property 
in the States and Territories (excluding slaves) amounted to 
fourteen thousand millions of dollars (114,000,000,000). 
This aggregate was the net result of the labor and the savings 
of all the people within the area of the United States from 
the time the first British colonist landed in 1607 down to 
the year 1860. It represented the fruit of the toil of two 
hundred and fifty years. 

After 1860 the business of the country was encouraged 
and developed by a protective tariff. At the end of twenty 
years the total property of the United States, as returned 

Letter of Acceptance. 277 

by the census of 1880, amounted to the enormous aggregate 
of forty-four thousand millions of dollars (844,000,000,000). 
This great result was attained, notwithstanding the fact that 
countless millions had in the interval been wasted in the 
progress of a bloody war. It thus appears that while our 
population between 1860 and 1880 increased 60 per cent, the 
aggregate property of the country increased* 214 per cent. — 
showing a vastly enhanced wealth per capita among the 
people. Thirty thousand millions of dollars ($30,000,000,000) 
had been added during these twenty years to the permanent 
wealth of the nation. 

These results are regarded by the older nations of the 
world as phenomenal. That our country should surmount 
the peril and the cost of a gigantic war and for an entire 
period of twenty years make an average gain to its wealth of 
one hundred and twenty-five millions of dollars per month 
surpasses the experience of all other nations, ancient or 
modern. Even the opponents of the present revenue system 
do not pretend that in the whole history of civilization any 
parallel can be found to the material progress of the United 
States, since the accession of the Republican party to 

The period between 1860 and to-day has not been one 
of material prosperity only. At no time in the history of 
the United States has there been such progress in the 
moral and philanthropic field. Religious and charitable 
institutions, schools, seminaries, and colleges, have been 
founded and endowed far more generously than at any 
previous time in our history. Greater and more varied 

278 Words of James G. Blaine. 

relief has been extended to human suffering, and the entire 
progress of the country in wealth has been accompanied and 
dignified by a broadening and eleyation 'of our national 
character as a people. 

Our opponents find fault that our revenue system pro- 
duces a surplus. But they should not forget that the law 
has given a specific purpose to which all of the surplus is 
profitably and honorably applied — the reduction of the 
public debt and the consequent relief of the burden of 
taxation. No dollar has been wasted, and the only extrav- 
agance with which the party stands charged is the generous 
pensioning of soldiers, sailors, and their families — an ex- 
travagance which embodies the highest form of justice in 
the recognition and payment of a sacred debt. When re- 
duction of taxation is to be made the Republican party 
can be trusted to accomplish it in such a form as will most 
effectively aid the industries of the nation. 


A frequent accusation by our opponents is that the foreign 
commerce of the country has steadily decayed under the 
influence of the protective tariff. In this way they seek t - 
array the importing interest against the Republican party. 
It is a common and yet radical error to confound the com- 
merce of the country with its carrying trade — an error often 
committed innocently and sometimes designedly — but an 
error so gross that it does not distinguish between the shi]) 
and the cargo. Foreign commerce rejDresents the exports and 
imports of a country regardless of the nationality of tlie 

Letter of AccejAance. 279 

vessel that may cany the commodities of exchange. Our 
carrying trade has, from obvious causes, suffered many dis- 
couragements since 1860, but our foreign commerce has, in 
the same period, steadily and prodigiously increased — 
increased, indeed, at a rate and to an amount which abso- 
lutely dwarf all previous developments of our trade beyond 
the sea. From 1860 to the present time the foreign com- 
merce of the United States (divided with approximate 
equality between exports and imports) reached the astound- 
ing aggregate of twenty-four thousand millions of dollars 
(124,000,000,000). The balance in this vast commerce 
inclined in our favor, but it would have been much larger if 
our trade with tlie countries of America, elsewhere . referred 
to, had been more wisely adjusted. 

It is difficult even to appreciate the magnitude of our 
export trade since 1860, and we can gain a correct concep- 
tion of it onh^ by comparison with preceding results in the 
same field. The total exports from the United States from 
tlie Declaration of Independence in 1776 down to the day of 
Lincoln's election in 1860, added to all that had previously 
been exported from the American colonies from their original 
settlement; amounted to less than nine thousand millions of 
dollars (19,000,000,000). On the other hand, our exports 
from 1860 to the close of the last fiscal year exceeded twelve 
thousand millions of dollars (112,000,000,000) — the whole 
of it being the product of American labor. Evidently a pro- 
tective tariff has not injured our export trade when, under 
its influence, we exported in twenty-four j^ears forty per 
cent, more than the total amount that had been exported in 

280 Words of James Gr. Blame. 

the entire previous history of American commerce. All the 
details, when analyzed, correspond ^Yith this gigantic result. 
The commercial cities of the Union never had such growth 
as they have enjoyed since 1860. Our chief emporium, the 
city of New York, with its dependencies, has within that 
period doubled her poptilation and increased her w^ealth five- 
fold. During the same period the imports and exports 
which have entered and left her harbor are more than double 
in bulk and value the whole amount imported and exported 
by her between the settlement of the first Dutch colony on 
the island of Manhattan and the outbreak of the Civil War 
in 1860. 


The agricultural interest is by far the largest in the nation, 
and is entitled in every adjustment of revenue laws to the 
first consideration. Any policy hostile to the fullest devel- 
opment of agriculture in the . United States must be aban- 
doned. Realizing this fact the opponents of the present 
system of revenue have labored very earnestly to persuade the 
farmers of the United States that they are robbed by a pro- 
tective tariff, and the effort is thus made to consolidate their 
vast influence in favor of free trade. But happily the far- 
mers of America are intelligent and cannot be misled by 
sophistry when conclusive facts are before them. They see 
plainly that during the past twenty-four years wealth has not 
been acquired in one section or by one interest at the 
expense of another section or another interest. They see 
that the agricultural States have made even more rapid pro- 
r^ress than the manufacturing States. 

Letter of Acceptance, 281 

The farmers see that in 1860 Massachusetts and Illinois 
had about the same wealth — between eight and nine hun- 
dred million dollars each — and that in 1880 Massachusetts 
had advanced to twentj-six hundred millions, while Illinois 
had advanced to thirty-two hundred millions. They see 
that New Jersey and Iowa were just equal in population in 
1860, and that in twenty years the wealth of Xew Jersey was 
increased by the sum of eight hundred and fifty millions of 
dollars, while the wealth of Iowa was increased by the sum of 
fifteen hundred millions. They see that the nine leading agri- 
cultural States of the West have grown so ]-apidly in pros- 
perity that the aggregate addition to their wealth since 1860 is 
almost as great as the wealth of the entire country in that 
year. Tliey see that the South, which is almost exclusively 
agricultural, has shared in the general prosperity, and that 
having recovered from the loss and devastation of war, has 
gained so rapidly that its total wealth is at least the double 
of that which it possessed in 1860, exclusive of slaves. 

In these extraordinary developments the farmers see the 
helpful impulse of a home market, and they see that 
the financial and revenue S3'stem, enacted since tlie Repub- 
lican party came into power, has established and constantly 
expanded the home market. They see that even in the case 
of Avheat, which is our chief cereal export, they have sold, 
in the average of the years since the close of the war, three 
bushels at home to one the}' have sold abroad, and that in 
the case of corn, the onl}^ other cereal which we export to 
any extent, one hundred bushels have been used at home 
to three and a half bushels exported. In some years the dis- 

282 Words of James G-. Blame. 

parity lias been so great that for every peck of corn exported 
one hundred bushels have been consumed m the home 
market. The farmers see that in the increasing competition 
from the grainfields of Russia and from the distant plains of 
India, the growth of the market becomes daily 
of greater concern to them, and that its impairment would 
depreciate the value of every acre of tillable land in the 


Such facts as these touching the growth and consumption 
of cereals at home give us some slight conception of the 
vastness of the internal commerce of the United States. 
They suggest, also, that in addition to the advantages which 
the American people enjoy from protection against foreign 
competition, they enjoy the advantages of absolute free 
trade over a larger area and with a greater population than 
any other nation. The internal commerce of our thirty- 
eight States and nine Territories is carried on without let or 
hindrance, without tax,- detention, or governmental •inter- 
ference of any kind whatever. It spreads freely, over an 
area of three and a half million square miles — almost equal 
in extent to the whole continent of Europe. Its profits are 
enjoyed to-day by fifty-six millions of American freemen, 
and from this enjoyment no monopoly is created. Accord- 
ing to Alexander Hamilton, when he discussed the same 
subject in 1790, " the internal competition which takes place 
does away with everything like monopoly, and, by degrees, 
reduces the prices of articles to the minimum of a reasonable 
profit on the capital employed." It is impossible to point to 

Letter of Acceptance. 283 

a single monopoly in the United States that has been created 
or fostered by the industrial system which is upheld hj the 
Republican party. 

Compared with our foreign commerce these domestic 
exchanges are inconceivably great in amount — requiring 
merely as one instrumentality as large a mileage of railway 
as exists to-day in all the other nations of the world com- 
bined. These internal exchanges are estimated by the 
statistical bureau of the treasury department to be annually 
twenty times as great in amount as our foreign commerce. 
It is into this vast field of home trade — at once the creation 
and the heritage of the American people — that foreign 
nations are striving by every device to enter. It is into 
this field that the opponents of our present revenue system 
would freely admit the countries of Europe — countries into 
whose internal trade we could not reciprocally enter; coun- 
tries to which we should be surrendering every advantage of 
trade ; from which we would be gaining nothing in return. 


A policy of this kind would be disastrous to the me- 
chanics and worldngmen of the United States. Wages are 
unjustly reduced when an industrious man is not able by 
his earnings to live in comfort, educate his children, and lay 
by a sufficient amount for the necessities of age. The 
reduction of wages inevitably consequent upon throwing 
our home market open to the world would deprive them of 
the power to do this. It would prove a great calamitj' to 
our country. It would produce a conflict between the poor 

284 Words of James Gr. Blaine. 

and the rich, and in the sor^o^yful degradation of labor 
would plant the seeds of pubUc danger. 

The Republican party has steadily aimed to maintain 
just relations between labor and capital — guarding with 
care the rights of each. A conflict between the two has 
jilways led in the past and will always lead in the future 
to the injury of both. Labor is indispensable to the crea- 
tion and profitable use of capital, and capital increases the 
efficiency and yalue of labor. Whoeyer arrays the one 
against the other is an enemy of both. That policy is wisest 
and best which harmonizes the two on the basis of absolute 
justice. The Republican party has protected the free labor 
of America so that its compensation is larger than is real- 
ized in any other country. It has guarded our people 
against the unfair competition of contract labor from China, 
and may be called upon to prohibit the growth of a similar 
evil from Europe. It is obviously unfair to permit capitalists 
to make contracts for cheap labor in foreign countries to 
the hurt and disparagement of the labor of American 
citizens. Such a policy (like that which would leave the 
time and other conditions of home labor exclusively in the 
control of the employer) is injurious to all parties — not 
the least so to the unhappy persons who are made the 
subjects of the contract. The institutions of the United 
States rest upon the intelligence and virtue of all the people. 
Sufeage is made universal as a just weapon of self-pro- 
tection to every citizen. It is not the interest of the 
Republic that any economic system should be adopted 
which involves the reduction of wages to the hard standard 

Letter of Acceptance. 285 

prevailing elsewhere. The Republican party aims to ele- 
vate and dignify labor — not to degrade it. 

As a substitute for the industrial system which, under 
Republican administrations, has developed such extraordinary 
prosperity, our opponents offer a policy which is but a series 
of experiments upon our system of revenue — a policy 
whose end must be harm to our manufacturers and greater 
harm to our labor. Experiment in the industrial and financial 
system is the country's greatest dread, as stability is its 
greatest boon. Even the uncertainty resulting from the 
recent tariff agitation in Congress has hurtfully affected the 
business of the entire country. Who can measure the harm 
to our shops and our homes, to our farms and our commerce, 
if the uncertainty of perpetual tariff agitation is to be 
inflicted upon the country? We are in the midst of an 
abundant harvest ; we are on the eve of a revival of general 
prosperity. Nothing stands in our way but the dread of 
a change in the industrial system which has wrought such 
wonders in the last twent}' years and which, v/ith the power 
of increased capital, will work still greater marvels of pros- 
perity in the twenty years to come. 


Our foreign relations favor our domestic development. 
We are at peace with the world — at peace upon a sound 
basis with no unsettled questions of sufficient magnitude to 
embarrass or distract us. Happily removed by our geo- 
graphical position from participation or interest in those 
questions of dynasty or boundary which so frequently dis- 

286 Words of James Gr. Blaine. 

turb the peace of Europe, we are left to cultivate friendly 
relations with all and are free from possible entanglements in 
the quarrels of any. The United States has no cause and 
no desire to engage in conflict with any power on earth, and 
we may rest in assured confidence that no power desires to 
attack the United States. 

With the nations of the Western hemisphere we should 
cultivate closer relations, and for our common prosperity 
and advancement we should invite them all to join with us 
in an agreement that, for the future, all international 
troubles in North or South America shall be adjusted by 
impartial arbitration, and not by arms. This project was 
part of the fixed policy of President Garfield's administra- 
tion, and it should, in my judgment, be renewed. Its 
accomplishment on this continent would favorably affect the 
nations beyond the sea, and thus powerfully contribute, at 
no distant day, to the universal acceptance of the phil- 
anthropic and Christian principle of arbitration. The effect 
even of suggesting it for the Spanish-American States has 
been most happy and has increased the confidence of those 
people in our friendly disposition. It fell to my lot as Sec- 
retary of State in June, 1881, to quiet apprehension in the 
Republic of Mexico by giving the assurance in an official 
despatch that " there is not the faintest desire in the United 
States for territorial extension south of the Rio Grande. 
The boundaries of the two republics have been established 
in conformity with the best jurisdictional interests of both. 
The line of demarcation is not merely conventional. It is 
more. It separates a Spanish-American people from a 

Letter of Acceptance. 287 

Saxon-American people. It divides one great nation from 
another v/itli distinct and natural finality." 

We seek the conquests of peace. We desire to extend our 
commerce, and in an especial degree with our friends and 
neighbors on this continent. We have not improved our 
relations with Spanish America as wisely and persistently as 
we might have done. For more than a generation the 
sympathy of those countries has been allowed to drift 
away from us. We should now make every effort to 
gain their friendship. Our trade with them is already 
large. During the last year our exchanges in the Western 
hemisphere amounted to 8350,000,000 — nearly one fourth 
of our entire foreign commerce. To those who mav 
be disposed to underrate the value of our trade with 
the countries of North and South America, it may be well to 

state that their population is nearly or quite 50,000,000 

and that, in proportion to aggregate numbers, we import 
nearly double as much from them as we do from Europe. 
But the result of tlie whole American trade is in a high degree 
unsatisfactory. The imports during tlie past year exceeded 
$225,000,000, while the exports were less than $125,000,000 
— showing a balance against us of more than $100,000,000. 
But the money does not go to Spanish 7^merica. We send 
large sums to EurojiC in coin or its e(|uivalent to pay 
European manufacturers for the goods whicli they send to 
Spanish America. We are but paymasters for this enormous 
amount annually to European factors — an amount which is 
a serious draft, in every financial depression, upon our 
resources of specie. 

288 Words of James G-. Blaine. 

Cannot this condition of trade in great part be changed? 
Cannot the market for our products be greatly enlarged? 
We have made a beginning in our effort to improve our 
trade relations with Mexico, and we should not be content 
until similar and mutually advantageous arrangements have 
been successfully made with every nation of IS'orth and 
South America. While the great powers of Europe are 
steadily enlarging their colonial domination in Asia and 
Africa, it is the especial province of this country to improve 
and expand its trade with the nations of America. No 
field promises so much. No field has been cultivated so 
little. Our foreign policy should be an American policy in 
its broadest and most comprehensive sense — a policy of 
peace, of friendship, of commercial enlargement. ^ 

The name of American^ which belongs to us in our national 
capacity, must alwa^'s exalt the just pride of patriotism. 
Citizenship of the Republic must be the panoply and safe- 
guard of him who wears it. The American citizen, rich or 
poor, native or naturalized, white or colored, must every- 
where walk secure in his personal and civil rights. The 
Republic should never accept a lesser duty, it can never 
assume a nobler one, than the protection of the humblest 
man who owes it loyalty — a protection at home and pro- 
tection which shall follow him abroad, into whatever land 
he may go upon a lawful errand. 


I recognize, not without regret, the necessity for speaking 
of two sections of our common country. But the regret 

Letter of Acceptance. 289 

diminishes when I see that the elements which separated 
them are fast disappearing. Prejudices have yiekled and are 
yiekling, while a growing cordiality warms the Southern and 
the Northern heart alike. Can any one doubt that between 
the sections confidence and esteem are to-day more marked 
than at any period in the sixty years preceding the election 
of President Lincoln ? This is the result in part of time and 
in part of Republican principles applied under the favorable 
conditions of uniformity. It would be a great calamity to 
change these influences under which Southern Common- 
wealths are learning to vindicate civil rights, and adapting 
themselves to the conditions of political tranquillity and 
industrial progress. If there be occasional and violent 
outbreaks in the South against this peaceful progress, the 
public opinion of the country regards them as exceptional 
and hopefully trusts that each will prove the last. 

The South needs capital and occupation, not controversy. 
As much as any part of the North the South needs the full 
protection of the revenue laws which the Republican party 
offers. Some of the Southern States have already entered 
upon a career of industrial development and prosperity. 
These, at least, should not lend their electoral votes to 
destroy their own future. 

Any effort to unite the Southern States upon issues that 
grow out of the memories of the war will summon the 
Northern States to combine in the assertion of that nation- 
ality which was tlieir inspiration in the civil struggle. And 
thus great energies which should be united in a common in- 
dustrial development will be wasted in hurtful strife. The 

290 Words of James Cr. Blaine. 

Democratic party shows itself a foe to Southern ^^rosperity 
h\ alwa3-s invoking and urging Southern political consolida- 
tion. Such a policy quenches the rising instinct of j^atriot- 
ism in the heart of the Southern youth; it revives and 
stimidates prejudice; it substitutes the spirit of barbaric 
vengeance for the love of peace, progi^ess, and harmony. 


The general character of the civil ser\dce of the United 
States under all administrations has been honorable. In the 
one supreme test — tlie collection and disbursement of rev- 
enue — the record of fidelity has never been surpassed in 
any nation. With the almost fabulous sums which were 
received and paid during the late war, scrupulous integrity 
was the prevailing rule. Indeed, throughout that trying 
period, it can be said to the honor of tlie American name 
that unfaithfulness and dishonesty among civil officers were 
as rare as misconduct and cowardice on the field of battle. 

The growth of the country lias continually and necessarily 
enlarged the civil service, until now it includes a vast body 
of officers. Rules and methods of appointment which pre- 
vailed when the number was smaller have been found 
insufficient and impracticable, and earnest efforts have been 
made to separate the great mass of ministerial officers from 
partisan influence and personal control. Impartiality in the 
mode of appointment to be based on qualification, and 
security of tenure to be based on faithful discharge of duty, 
are the two ends to be accomplished. The public business 
will be aided by separating the legislative branch of the 

Letter of Acceptance. 291 

government from all control of appointments and the exec- 
utive department will be relieved by subjecting appointments 
to fixed rules and thus removing them from the caprice of 
favoritism. But there should l)e rigid observance of the law 
which gives, in all cases of equal competency, the preference 
to the soldiers who risked their lives in defence of the 

I entered Congress in 1863, and in a somewhat prolonged 
service I never found it expedient to request or recommend 
the removal of a civil officer except in four instances, and 
then for non-political reasons which were instantly conclusive 
with the appointing power. The officers in, the district 
appointed by Mr. Lincoln in 1861 upon the recommendation 
of my predecessor served, as a rule, until death or resigna- 
tion. I adopted at the beginning of my service the test of 
competitive examinations for aj^pointments to West Point 
and maintained it so long as I had the right by law to nomi- 
nate a cadet. In the case of many officers I found that the 
present law which arbitrarily limits the term of commission 
offered a constant temptation to changes for mere political 
reasons. I have publicly expressed the belief that the essen- 
tial modification of that law would be in many respects 

My observation in the department of state confirmed the 
conclusions of my legislative experience and impressed me 
with the conviction that the rule of impartial appointment 
might with advantage be carried beyond any existing pro- 
vision of the civil-service law. It should be applied to 
appointments in the consular ser^dce. Consuls should be 

292 Words of James G. Blaine. 

commercial sentinels, encircling the globe with watchful- 
ness for their country's interests. Their intelligence and' 
competency become, therefore, matters of great public con- 
cern. No man should be appointed to an American consul- 
ate who is not well instructed in the history and resources 
of his own country, and in tlie requirements and language 
of commerce in the country to which he is sent. The same 
rule should be applied even more rigidly to secretaries of 
legation in our diplomatic service. The people have the 
right to the most efficient agents in the discharge of public 
business, and tlie appointing power should regard this as the 
prior and ulterior consideration. 


Religious liberty is th.e right of every citizen of the Re- 
public. Congress is forbidden by tlie Constitution to make 
any law, " respecting the establishment of religion, or pro- 
liibiting the free exercise thereof." For a century, under 
this guaranty, Protestant and Catholic, Jew and Gentile, 
have Avorshiped God according to the dictates of conscience. 
But religious liberty must not be prevented to the justifi- 
cation of offences against the law. A religious sect, strongly 
intrenched in one of the Territories of the Union, and 
spreading radily into four other Territories, claims the right 
to destroy the great safeguard and muniment of social order, 
and to practise as a religious privilege that Avhich is a 
crime punished with severe penalty in every State of the 
Union. The sacredness and unity of the family must be 
preserved as the foundation of all civil government, as 

Letter of Aecej^tanee. 293 

the source of orderly administration, as the surest guaranty 
of moral purity. 

The claim of the Mormons that they are divinely author- 
ized to practise polygamy should no more be admitted than 
the claim of certain heathen tribes, if they should come 
among us, to continue the right of human sacrifice. The 
law does not interfere with what a man believes; it takes 
cognizance only of what he does. As citizens, the Mormons 
are entitled to the same civil rights as others and to these 
they must be confined. Polygamy can never receive 
national sanction or toleration by admitting the community 
that upholds it as a State in the Union. Like others, the 
Mormons must learn that the liberty of the individual 
ceases where the rights of society begin. 


The people of the United States, though often urged and 
tempted, have never seriously contemplated the recognition 
of any other money than gold and silver — and currency 
directly convertible into them. They have not done sJ, 
they will not do so, under any necessity less pressing than 
that of desperate war. lire one special requisite for the 
completion of our monetary system is the fixing of the rela- 
tive values of silver and gold. The large use of silver as 
the money of account among Asiatic nations, taken in con- 
nection with the increasing commerce of the Avorld, gives 
the Aveig]iliest reasons for an international agreement in the 
premises. Our government should not cease to urge this 
measure until a common standard of value shall be reached 
and established — a standard that shall enable the United 

294 ^ Words of James Cr. Blaine. 

States to use the silver from its mines as an auxiliary to gold 
in settling the balances of commercial exchange. 


The strength of the Republic is increased by the multipli- 
cation of landholders. Our laws should look to the judicious 
encouragement of actual settlers on the public domain, 
Avhich should henceforth be held as a sacred trust for the 
benefit of those seeking homes. T4ie tendency to consolidate 
large tracts of land in the ownership of individuals or corpo- 
rations should, with j^i'oper regard to vested rights, be 
discouraged. One hundred thousand acres of land in the 
hands of one man is far less profitable to the nation in every 
way than when its ownership is divided among one thousand 
men. The evil of permitting large tracts of the national 
domain to be consolidated and controlled by the few against 
the many is enhanced wlien the persons controlling it are 
aliens. It is but fair that the public land should be disposed 
of only to actual settlers and to those w^ho are citizens of the 
Kepublic or willing to become so. 


Among our national interests one languishes — the foreign 
carrying trade. It was very seriously crippled in our Civil 
War, and another blow was given to it in the general substitu- 
tion of steam for sail in ocean traffic. AVith a frontage on the 
two great oceans, with a freightage larger than that of any 
other nation, \vg have every inducement to restore our naviga- 
tion. Yet the government has hitherto refused its help. A 
small share of the encouragement given by the government to 

Letter of Acceptance. 295 

railways and to manufactures, and a small share of the capital 
and the zeal given by our citizens to those enterprises, would 
have carried our ships to every sea and to every port. A law just 
enacted removes some of the burdens upon our navigation 
and inspires hope that this great interest may at last receive 
its due share of attention. All efforts in this direction 
should receive encouragement. 


This survey of our condition as a nation reminds us that 
material prosperity is but a mockery if it does not tend to 
preserve the liberty of the people. A free ballot is the safe- 
guard of Republican institutions, without which no national 
welfare is assured. A popular election, honestly conducted 
embodies the very majesty of true government. Ten millions 
of voters desire to take part in the pending contest. The 
safety of the Republic rests upon the integrity of the ballot, 
upon the security of suffrage to the citizen. To deposit a 
fraudulent vote is no worse a crime against constitutional 
liberty than to obstruct the deposit of an honest vote. He 
who corrupts suffrage strikes at the very root of free gov- 
ernment. He is the arch enemy of the Republic. He forgets 
that in trampling upon the rights of others he fatally imperils 
his own rights. "It is a good land which the Lord our God 
doth give us," but we can maintain our heritage only by 
guarding with vigilance the source of popular power. 
I am, with great respect, 

Your obedient servant, 


Sketch of the Life and Public Service 



It would be impossible to understand the character of 
John A. Logan without understanding something of the life 
in which nearly all his days had been spent. Southern 
Illinois is a region variously estimated. It is known far and 
wide as Egypt, and the name is supposed to indicate the 
character of the land. The majority of people believe that 
the name was given on account of the intellectual darkness 
pervading the region, a supposition which I believe is without 
foundation. Traveling once from Effingham to St. Louis, 
my neighbor, who occupied the same seat, addressed me the 
question : — 


I replied that it was, and he then asked me further questions 
about the soil, products, and habits of the people, for the 
section, as I told him, was my own home. He then pro- 
ceeded to relate the tradition that a famine once occurred in 
Kentucky, and that during the same year there was a bounti- 
ful supply of corn in Southern Illinois. The hungry Ken- 
tuckians came across the Ohio and loaded their barges with 
the generous ears of Indian corn, and remembering the 

298 John A, Lou an. 

famine in the land of Canaan, and liow the Israelites wen 
down to Egypt to purchase corn, they gave the name o 
Egypt to the land that supplied their needs. Before tin 
journey was ended I found this pleasant gentleman, whom 
knew to be a Southern man from his manner, was Senato 
Wade Hampton, of South Carolina. 

The condition of Southern Illinois forty or fifty years ag( 
cannot be understood by those who visit that section now 
unless they are tempted to read the early history. Now, yoi 
have the rich cornfields of Cumberland and Coles, the wheat 
fields of Effingham, Jasper, and Jackson, the peach orchard 
of Centralia; and all through the region an abundance o 
grapes, apples, and small fruits, while on every prairie thi 
hedges of osage-orange are taking the place of the old Vii 
ginia fence, making the lanes green and beautiful. Th« 
villages are thrifty, churches are many, and the brick school 
house meets the eye at short intervals. 


in John A. Logan's boyhood. The Illinois Central Railroac 
had not then pierced the rich stretches of the great corn-belt 
nor penetrated to the fruit-region that lies toward the Ohio 
The Pennsylvania Railroad had not thrown her iron spai 
across " the silvery Wabash," and the country was nearly i 
wilderness. Salt and dry-goods came in wagons from Terr^ 
Haute. The mail came to the post-office once a week, anc 
many went twelve miles to the post-office. The corn mil 
was a necessary adjunct, but in Mr. Logan's boyhood mill 
were sometimes too far apart to be relied on in mudd; 

John A. Logan. 299 

weather, so that the settler cut a large tree in the neighbor- 
hood of his house, rounded the top of it into the shape of a 
bowl, and pouring in a peck of corn, beat it into meal with 
an iron mortar. Corn was grown in the field or clearing 
near at hand. Hogs were fattened on the acorns that fell 
from the trees in autumn, and any man who could load 
and shoot a gun might provide himself with venison, wild- 
turkey, and many other kinds of game. 

The amusements of these people were very few in number. 
The horserace was an institution brought from Kentucky. 
The husking was born to the soil. The dance was as dif- 
ferent from tliat of fashionable life as it is possible for the 
imagination to conceive. Of more intellectual entertain- 
iTients the spelling-match by common consent took the lead. 
The young man of that day was expected to ride a wild 
horse over the prairie at break-neck speed, to lift his share 
at the barn-raising, 


who came from near and far and stood on the floor of the 
log-cabin beneath the light of tallow-candles, with their hair 
combed back from fair foreheads, and their forms clothed in 
"linsey " dresses of home manufacture. Besides this it was 
expected that the champion fighter from some foreign neigh- 
borhood would be there ready for a fray, and every well- 
regulated young man who desired to stand well in the eyes 
of the fair must be prepared to defend his rights at all 

It was an easy, reckless, and in some respects happy 

300 John A. Logan. 

life, decidedly Southern in all its tendencies, with much to 
condemn, but with a spirit of generosity never known in 
the colder regions of more thickly populated sections of 
the country ; and some men who dreamed the dream of 
ambition, while looking at night from the straw bed of the 
attic at the rafters of the dwelling, will never forget, amid 
all changes, the experiences of their youth. 

Amid such scenes was the youth of General Logan spent, 
and the main facts of his life are well expressed in the 
following lines taken from the Kennebec Daily Journal, a 
paper once under the editorial control of James G. Blaine. 

General Logan's father was a native of Ireland and his 
mother was born in Tennessee. Their honored son was born 
in Jackson County, Illinois, February 9, 1820. His educa- 
tional advantages were limited, his father furnishing the most 
of the early instruction which he receivedo Subsequently 
he was graduated at the Louisville University. When the 
Mexican War began he enlisted as a private in the Illinois 
volunteers, rose to be lieutenant and finally quartermaster. 
On returning home he began the study of law, was admitted 
to the bar, and connnenced practice in his native State. But 
his talents attracted attention and drew liim into politics. He 
was elected to the Legislature in 1852, 1853, 1856, and 1857. 
In his early life he was a Democrat, and was elected a presi- 
dential elector in the Buchanan campaign. Two years later 
he was sent to Congress. In 1860 he advocated the election 
of Stephen A. Douglas as President. He was elected to the 
Thirty-sixth and Thirty-seventh Congresses, but resigned his 
seat at the breaking out of the war, entered the Union army 

John A. Logan. 301 

as colonel of volunteers, and by his bravery in many battles, 
his good conduct and soldierly qualities, reached the raidv of 
major-general before the close of the war. He entered the 
army as a Union Democrat but soon became an ardent 


with the thirty-first Illinois infantry in September, with 
McClernand's brigade. He had a horse shot under him 
at the battle of Belmont. He was engaged at Fort 
Henry, and in leading the assault at Fort Donelson was 
badly wounded. For gallant and effective service he 
was steadily promoted. He assisted Grant in the north- 
ern Mississippi campaign of 1862; and as major-general 
of volunteers commanded the third division, seventeenth 
army corps, under McPherson, in the movement against 
Vicksburg in 1863. Besides brave fighting at Port Gibson, 
he rendered noble service at Champion Hills. He succeeded 
General Sherman in command of the fifteenth corps in 
November, 1863, and made Huntsville, Alabama, his head- 
quarters. He joined the grand army, which was to march 
through Georgia the next year, and distinguished himself at 
Resaca, Dallas, and Kenesaw Mountain. At the battle of 
Atlanta he succeeded McPherson on the latter's fall, and 
with marked magnetism rallied the Union forces. After 
Sherman fairly started for the sea General Logan came North 
to make speeches for Lincoln and Johnson. He rejoined 
Sherman at Savannah, and shared in the grand review at 
Washington, in May, 1865. 

In 1865 lie was appointed minister to Mexico, but declined 

302 Joltn A. Logan. 

the position. He was elected to the Fortieth and Forty-first 
Congresses, serving in the House until his election to the 
Senate in 1871, where he served until 1877, when he resumed 
the practice of law at Chicago. He was again elected to the 
Senate and took his seat March 18, 1879. His term of the 
Senate will expire March 3, 1885. 

In a brief sketch it is very difficult to give any adequate 
aiialysis of a strong man's character. But a few words may 
be said of General Logan in this regard. His history 
as a soldier 


His early associations, coupled with his natural disposition, 
made him fearless of bullets. He is one of the men who 
always rode where missiles were flying, who always shared 
danger with his men, and who was as willing to sleep in 
a trench when shells were falling as in the parlors of a 
palatial residence. This endeared him to the common 
soldier. Though wearing the stars on his uniform he was 
one of the boys, and the veteran of to-day is always sure 
of a welcome when he approaches this hero of a score of 

General Logan is a strong man intellectually considered. 
I say this in the face of any criticism that alleges a lack 
of culture on his part. It is true he is sometimes careless 
in his use of language, a fault indeed, but not sufficient 
to establish the claim that he lacks culture. A college 
president of my acquaintance always says "natur," and 
an eminent lawyer in New England, whose opinions are 
respected wherever read, is in the habit of saying "haow" 

John A. Logan, 303 


and "daown," with the old-fashioned New England accent. 
And while General Logan may retain certain habits that 
he formed when a boy, he is at the same a widely informed 
man, whose opinions are regarded in Congress, and whose 
hold on the confidence of the people is ver}^ firm. Alto- 
gether he is a man of culture, courage, and patriotism, 
whose history is known, and with a character untainted. 


The number of electors in the Electoral College, which 
will meet in December next, is 401. 

The number of electors in each State is as follows : — 

Alabama 10 

Arkansas 7 

California 8 

Colorado 3 

Connecticut 6 

Delaware 3 

Florida 4 

Georgia 12 

Illinois 22 

Indiana 15 

Iowa ......... 13 

Kansas 9 

Kentucky 13 

Louisiana 8 

Maine 6 

Marjiand 8 

Massachusetts 14 

Michigan 13 

Minnesota , 7 

Mississippi 9 

Missouri 16 

Nebraska 5 

Nevada 3 

New Hampshire 4 

New Jersey 9 

New York 36 

North Carolina 11 

Ohio 23 

Oregon 3 

Pennsylvania 30 

Ehode Island 4 

South Carolina 9 

Tennessee 12 

Texas 13 

Vermont 4 

Virginia 12 

West Virginia 6 

Wisconsin ..,.,.. 11 

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